X-Men ’97 star JP Karliak has effortlessly shut down anti-LGBTQIA+ trolls in a new interview.

On 20 March, Marvel fans were finally treated to the highly anticipated Disney+ series.

Created by Beau DeMayo, the new show picks up after the events of X-Men: The Animated Series, which saw our favourite mutant heroes lose their wise leader, Professor Charles Xavier.

With new and old foes entering the fray, the team juggle their grief while upholding Professor X’s mission of protecting their fellow mutants and humankind.

Fortunately for fans, X-Men ’97 features the return of fan-favourite characters like the playful shapeshifter Morph – who was killed off and later brought back in the original ’90s show.

A month before the series premiere, DeMayo confirmed that the updated version of the beloved hero would be non-binary and have “an interesting buddy relationship with Wolverine.”

Of course, it didn’t take long for bigots to not only slam the inclusive change but also target the character’s voice actor, Karliak.

Fortunately, the 42-year-old actor hasn’t let the anti-LGBTQIA+ backlash get him down.


During a recent interview with CBR, Karliak shared his two cents on the toxic discourse, revealing that he wasn’t too surprised by the response.

“I’m a queer activist. I run a nonprofit that advocates for queer representation. I also co-founded a voter registration organization. I know what’s going on in the world, especially politically, so no, it didn’t surprise me,” he explained to the news outlet.

While the hateful reactions didn’t faze Karliak, he expressed gratitude for the X-Men fans that pushed back against the online trolls.

“I think what I appreciated was how much counter-backlash there was with people like ‘Have you watched the X-Men? Are you familiar with why they were created and what they’re about?’ Did you forget that? That was reassuring,” he said.

Toward the end of his interview, the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth actor gave insight into how X-Men ’97 will explore Morph’s non-binary identity in the series.


“Two things about that—one, as far as I know, we’re never going to say the word ‘non-binary’ because nobody said it in the 1990s. It’s not that it didn’t exist; it was just in no way a mainstream term at the time,” he revealed.

“Morph’s understanding of who he is could equate to what a modern person would say is non-binary, but he just doesn’t have the terminology for it. At the same time, they/them wasn’t a concept in terms of using it as a pronoun.”

Since its release, X-Men ’97 has received rave reviews from fans and critics, with many praising the series for its stellar animation, dynamic storylines, and voice-acting performances.

As of this writing, the first three episodes have received a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.