Riverdale Star Cole Sprouse Fighting For Writers To Make His Character Asexual

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It's no secret that the full LGBTQ spectrum of gender and sexuality is severely under-represented on TV and in movies. Cole Sprouse of is doing his best to change that with his highly-anticipated new show Riverdale. The 24-year-old — known to most of us as twin Cody on Disney's Suite Life of Zack and Cody — stars as Archie's best friend, Jughead, on the CW's adaptation of the beloved Archie Comics series. Archie made waves when Jughead was casually revealed to be asexual in Jughead No. 4 last February. Fans were thrilled to see an asexual individual — meaning they do not feel sexual attraction to other people — in a mainstream comic. Unfortunately, that diversity didn't translate to the TV version — at least in season 1. But Sprouse, who campaigned to keep Jughead asexual in the series, hopes to change that. The actor told told Hollywood Life last week that he is "fighting... pretty heavily" to write Jughead as asexual in the future of the show, despite his apparent heterosexuality in season 1. (Jughead will have relationships with women, though they could be only romantic in nature, not sexual.) The actor explained why he sought to retain Jughead's identity in the first place. "I come from an educational environment that really praises, as do I, the forms of representation that are otherwise lacking in our public media. But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job." Sprouse is optimistic, though, that this could change. "I think there’s still a lot of room in Riverdale for that," Cole said. "Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value, and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality, especially, is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives." We're hoping, as Sprouse suggests, that one of Riverdale's more powerful character arcs could end up being the evolution of Jughead's self-identity. It's about time for an authentic representation of asexuality on mainstream TV — and it sounds like Sprouse is the perfect person for the job.

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