The Saved By The Bell Reboot Casts Trans Activist Josie Totah As Its Lead

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The upcoming reboot of Saved By the Bell has found its lead in trans activist Josie Totah, Deadline reports. 
Totah will play Lexi, a “beautiful” and “sharp-tongued” cheerleader who sounds like the queen bee every high school comedy needs. As the most popular girl in school, Lexi could follow in the footsteps of fashionable Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) or peppy Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen). Totah will also serve as a producer on the series.
Totah, who previously starred on NBC’s Champions, came out as transgender in a 2018 essay for Time, having previously identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Totah shared in the essay that she was excited to announce her transition in part because now she can play roles that best suit her gender identity. 
“I plan to play roles I haven’t had the opportunity to play,” Totah wrote in Time. “And I can only imagine how much more fun it’s going to be to play someone who shares my identity, rather than having to contort myself to play a boy. I’m going to gun for those roles, be it a transgender female or a cisgender female. Because it’s a clean slate — and a new world.”
It’s unclear if Lexi will be a cis or trans, but regardless, Totah’s casting is a significant step forward for trans representation in media.  Refinery29 reached out to Totah for comment.
The reboot of Saved By the Bell will stream on NBC’s forthcoming platform, Peacock. It reunites Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkeley, who portrayed A.C. Slater and Jessie “I’m So Excited!” Spano. Though former SBTB star Mark-Paul Gosselaar hasn’t said if he will appear on the series, his character Zack Morris — who is now the governor of California, because of course — kicks off the action when an educational crisis forces him to send low-income students to high-performing institutions, like his alma mater Bayside High. 

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