Transgender teen Josie Totah has landed top billing in the Saved by the Bell reboot as Lexi. The Hollywood Reporter calls Lexi a “ Beautiful, sharp-tongued cheerleader and the most popular girl at Bayside high school who is both admired and feared by her fellow students.” The 18-year-old actress is known for being the lead in NBC’s short lived comedy Champions as well as smaller, recurring roles on Disney’s Jessie and on Glee.
Totah, who came out in 2018, has been very vocal about trans issues and visibility in the media, and has talked about her excitement regarding being able to take on new roles she wasn’t able to before.
The Hollywood Reporter also states that Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley will return to the show as their respective characters from the original airing of Saved by the Bell, A.C. Slayter and Jessie Spano. However, this is somewhat controversial, as Mario Lopez was in hot water earlier in 2019 for comments he made on the Candace Owens show saying that it is “dangerous” for parents to support their transgender kids. With a history of vocalizing opinions regarding trans folks and how they fit into society, one wonders how the chemistry will work alongside Totah, a trans girl and advocate.
However, Lopez later apologized, calling his remarks ignorant in a statement sent to The Advocate and backtracking on his negative remarks. Still, it remains to be seen if his mind will remain open during the coming months.
The reboot is also reported to have the infamous Zack Morris return as California’s governor in the show. The character in the show is pressured to send students in low-performing and low-income schools to high performing-schools, which includes the emblematic Bayside high school.
The reboot is scheduled to find life on NBC’s new streaming platform Peacock this spring.