LA native Spider-Man video game actress breaking barriers

Localish logo
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Natasha Ofili becomes first deaf Black character in a video game
EMBED <>More Videos

Natasha Ofili becomes first deaf Black character in a video game as part of "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales."

LOS ANGELES -- Natasha Ofili didn't have anyone growing up that represented her on television let alone in video games.

She recently became the first deaf Black actress to be depicted as a character in "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" video game.

Ofili plays Hailey Cooper, a teenage street artist who just happens to be deaf.

"What I would like to see on the screen is deaf and hard of hearing people as normal people," Ofili said.

Ofili hopes the role will highlight the diverse skill set people with disabilities have and breakdown misconceptions in the process. She says while she and her character are deaf, it's not what defines them, a message she hopes will resonate with others.

"People should become more open-minded, more open with their heart and their soul, and be willing to take a step back and look at the whole person," said Ofili.

The actress is keenly aware of the continued struggle for inclusivity, but hopes more people will see her disability as just part of her story.

"When you see a character like Hailey people will say, oh 'She is human, just like me,'" said Ofili.