Alaqua Cox brings authentic deaf and indigenous representation in ‘Echo’

Cox was born deaf in the Menominee Nation.

January 15, 2024, 11:21 AM

Alaqua Cox is making history as the lead star in the new Disney+ series, "Echo."

Cox, who is deaf and hails from the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin, said Monday on "Good Morning America" that being an actress has given her a platform to address the importance of representation in Hollywood.

"The authentic representation is so important ... these deaf kids ... can feel like, 'I'm finally here. I feel like I have worth and I can do anything I want to go for.' Maybe they can see that similarity in me when they see me on the screen," Cox said, who was accompanied by her American Sign Language interpreter.

Cox recently welcomed her first son.

"He's an indigenous baby, of course, but I want him to know that that authentic representation is on the screen. That is his mom," she said. "He's gonna have to wait a little bit to see it because it is so violent."

Maya Lopez is Marvel's first deaf and indigenous superhero. Introduced in the 2021 series "Hawkeye" on Disney+, Lopez was also Cox's first-ever acting role. In an interview with Variety, Cox shared that she asked the cast and crew of "Echo" to take ASL classes prior to production.

"When I arrived on set, I was greeted with, 'Hello, how are you?' in sign," she told Variety. "It was the basics, but it was so nice to be able to communicate. It made me feel way more comfortable and welcomed."

Cox is also an amputee and wears a prosthetic leg, which her character often uses to her advantage in battle.

Like her character, Cox is breaking barriers and turning disabilities into powerful abilities.

All five episodes of "Echo" are streaming now on Disney+ and Hulu.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News and "Good Morning America."