‘X-Men ’97’ Voice Actor on Backlash Over Morph Being Non-Binary: “It Didn’t Surprise me At All”

X Men 97 Voice Actor on Backlash Over Morph Being Non Binary It Didnt Surprise me At All

‘X-Men ’97’ was released last week, and the first impressions are overwhelmingly positive, with both fans and critics enjoying the first two episodes. The show has seen historical success, premiering with a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The future looks bright for Marvel animation.

Despite the show being heavily influenced and a continuation of the ’90s ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ some elements of the show were tweaked and changed while trying to stay faithful to the original characters, stories, and animation. One aspect of the show that’s been met with some degree of backlash is the fact that Morph is non-binary in the show.

If you’re not familiar with the character in the comics, Morph’s superpower is basically shapeshifting, where the inspiration for making him non-binary came from in the first place. J.P. Karliak, the actor who voices Morph on the show recently discussed the fan backlash with CBR.

I’m a queer activist. I run a nonprofit that advocates for queer representation. I also co-founded a voter registration organization. I know what’s going on in the world, especially politically, so no, it didn’t surprise me at all. I think what I appreciated was how much counter-backlash there was, with people like ‘Have you watched the X-Men? Are you familiar with why they were created and what they’re about? Did you forget that?’ That was reassuring.

Karliak also explained how he was personally attacked for voicing the character:

There was one article that called me a radical queer activist and listed the insidious mission statement of my organization [Queer Vox] — verbatim of what was on the website, I was like, ‘Facts. No lies here, thanks for the promotion!

Morph was confirmed as non-binary by the creator of the show, Beau DeMayo who got fired just a week before the show’s premiere. Despite fans already knowing this little fact about him, the term was never used in the show, Karliak explained why:

Two things about that – one, as far as I know, we’re never going to say the word ‘non-binary’ because nobody said the word ‘non-binary’ in the ’90s. It’s not that it didn’t exist; it was just in no way a mainstream term at the time. Morph’s understanding of who he is could equate to what a modern person would say is non-binary, but he just doesn’t have the terminology for it. At the same time, they/them wasn’t a concept in terms of using it as a pronoun.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments