I always thought that Iris West was a redhead Caucasian. But in CW's TV show 'The Flash', she's African-American.

Is this her first version to be African-American, or is it inspired by some alternate comic universe?

PS -I must state that I don't intend to cause any controversy. I'm just trying to establish if this move is original to the TV show or inspired from the comics. I'm Indian, by the way.


TL;DR: Iris West was always caucasian in the comics and the fact they're portrayed by African-American actors is simply a diversity gesture from CW. The official "casting call" description provided by the show's writers goes as follows:

IRIS – 22-28 – African-American – As smart as she is beautiful, Iris is in grad school studying psychology. She’s also Barry’s mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend. Her father, Detective West, took in Barry when his mother was murdered, and his father was wrongly accused and imprisoned for her murder. In a tough childhood for Barry, she was the one “not tough” thing. She’s unaware of Barry’s strong feelings for her.

DETECTIVE WEST – Late 40s to Early 50s – African American – Detective West is an honest, blue-collar cop who’s seen it all. A soulful, funny caring father to Iris, and a surrogate father to Barry, West came up through the foster system himself. He took in Barry after his mother’s murder and his father’s imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports Barry’s efforts to prove his father’s innocence.

The reasons behind this choice are beyond me, but it did add a bit of details to the life of Barry Allen after the mother's accident, which was never fully addressed in the comics, and by introducing detective West and the adoptive family all together, it seems more undertandable how Flash didn't turn into a full Batman or Green Arrow since he was surrounded by a family.

PS: Even the flash isn't blonde in the series.

  • 1
    Good find on the casting call notes. Don't forget to add block-quotes to show which bits you've taken from another site :-)
    – Valorum
    May 9 '15 at 10:13
  • I haven't quoted any, I just mashed their content, most of them were dealing with racism and such, none of which directly concerns the question. May 9 '15 at 12:47
  • The actual casting call notes are quotes. I've put them into block quote marks for you which highlights them in green and indents them slightly...
    – Valorum
    May 9 '15 at 13:27
  • Oh those yeah, my bad, I need new glasses it seems May 9 '15 at 13:38

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