Marvel Studios Recognized with Seal of Authentic Representation for Inclusion of Makkari and Echo

MArvel Studios has received recognition for its including of people with disabilities in Eternals and the Disney+ series Hawkeye, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

  • Eternals and Hawkeye have each earned the Seal of Authentic Representation from the Ruderman Family Foundation, which advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society.
  • The Seal recognizes movies and television shows that feature actors with disabilities in roles with at least five lines of dialogue.
  • Eternals featured Makkari and Hawkeye feature Echo. Both of those characters are deaf.
  • Both Lauren Ridloff, who played Makkari, and Alaqua Cox, who played Echo, are deaf. Cox also uses a prosthetic leg.
  • Cox is also set to receive her own spinoff series, simply titled Echo.

What they’re saying:

  • Eternals director Chloe Zhao: “Makkari is full of heart and wisdom. She is strong, charismatic, mysterious and mischievous. We are very lucky to have found Lauren Ridloff, who is our real-life Makkari!. She has brought this character to life with love and conviction and has taught us so much in the process.”
  • Sarah Finn, Casting Director: “Not only was [Ridloff] overly qualified to join an already high-level cast, she elevated the ensemble with her unique spirit, talents and charisma. It’s been a privilege getting to know her through the process and seeing what a real-life hero she has become to so many. Alaqua Cox’s character, Maya Lopez/Echo, is based off an existing Marvel character who is deaf and Native American. In casting the role, we wanted to celebrate and honor both Deaf and Native American cultures. We couldn’t be more delighted by Alaqua Cox’s performance. She is phenomenal and part of a new culture in film and television, where authentic representation not only matters but is paramount to the kind of stories we want to tell and how we shape them.”
  • Ruderman Foundation president Jay Ruderman: “We are gratified to witness this latest group of studio productions implement the crucial values of inclusion and authentic representation in their casting decisions. These practices are increasingly becoming the norm in Hollywood, with the authentic casting of Lauren Ridloff in Eternals and Alaqua Cox in Hawkeye marking a particularly high-profile and momentous milestone for Marvel and the entire entertainment industry. Each time a casting director or other executive makes such a decision, it facilitates the industry’s broader journey towards fulfilling its full potential as a beacon of all forms of diversity and social justice.”