Makkari In Eternals Inspires Learning ASL
Eternals was a lot of firsts for Marvel: it had the MCU’s first sex scene, the first gay couple to be portrayed explicitly, and introduced fans to the first deaf superhero, Makkari (played by Lauren Ridloff). While the reviews have been a mixed bag, one thing is certain: the characters are resonating with audiences. According to research by Preply, there has been a 250% spike in searches for “learn sign language for beginners” thanks in large part to Ridloff’s character. She uses American Sign Language (otherwise known as ASL) to communicates with her fellow Eternals and my heart is about to burst knowing that Eternals inspires learning ASL.
While Ridloff’s portrayal of Makkari probably didn’t entirely account for the increased interest in learning ASL, there’s no doubt that it highlighted the fact that anyone can be a superhero despite what others may think. As the speedster of the group, fans loved her unique abilities, and she also won people over for her adorable relationship with Druig (fans everywhere are dubbing them “Drukkari“).
As Ridloff told Entertainment Weekly:
“It makes so much sense to have this diversity and representation within the MCU because what the MCU is offering the world is amazing. They’re offering a way for us to hope, to be able to get up and keep going and fight for what’s important. More and more people are starting to see themselves in that universe, and that’s powerful.”
It’s heartening to see Makkari in Eternals inspiring learning ASL, but of course there’s always room for more characters from historically marginalized groups. There’s going to be a Hawkeye spinoff Disney+ series starring deaf superhero Maya Lopez aka Echo, and Superman’s son, Jonathan Kent, recently came out as bisexual, but keep ’em coming! There’s no quota to reach when it comes to diverse content; rather, it’s something that should be happening consistently and all the time.
Watch Ridloff talking about how excited she is and what she hopes Makkari will do for fans as the MCU’s first deaf superhero to be portrayed in a movie:
Eternals is currently playing in theaters for 45 days before hitting Disney+ (probably sometime around Christmas).
Were you one of the fans who was affected by Eternals inspires learning ASL? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image via Marvel
Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane. Contact her at [email protected]