Jughead Jones and the Importance of His Sexuality

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The CW’s Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper

Yamilex Arias, Editor

Riverdale is a new CW show that explores the Archie Comics in very Twin Peaks-esque way. Packed with teen angst, intrigue and murder, Riverdale is a certified hit. You can read my earlier review of the show here.

Anyone who knows anything about the original Archie Comics knows that Jughead’s sexuality has been confirmed multiple times canonically as asexual and aromatic. Earlier in the series, the actor who plays Jughead, Cole Sprouse, confirmed that he’d try to maintain Jughead’s asexuality as a vital part of his character.

However, it’s seems that’s a promise he cannot keep.

If you’ve watched Riverdale recently, you know Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones have begun to spend a majority of their time together being amateur conspiracy theorists. Obviously, with all that proximity and a budding friendship, it’s understandable if something might develop between them.

Except Jughead is aromantic. Being aromantic means the person experiences little or no emotional attraction to others. This basically bottles down to Jughead having feelings of love, they’re limited to friendship and don’t stray into anything other than platonic. So this new development shouldn’t exist at all.

Then again, Riverdale isn’t known for always sticking to the demands of the canon storyline.

The importance of Jughead’s sexuality relates to the fight of the LGBQT+ community to bring more representation into media, especially TV. Jughead now officially leading a romatic relationship with Betty makes the already small amount of diverse characters, even smaller.

Though Riverdale has received praise for casting a Hispanic actress to play the iconic role of Veronica Lodge, that doesn’t erase the responsibility they have to portray a character accurately, especially when the story line and the fans demand it.

It may not seem important to many but having a character on TV to relate to can impact people’s lives. Whether it’s a small or large impact depends on each person, but the CW shouldn’t forget Jughead and the importance of his sexuality.