After 75 years of rebuffing advances from Big Ethel and being known as Riverdale's resident burger enthusiast, Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III will come out as asexual.
In an upcoming issue of the new Archie series spin-off Jughead, Jughead confides in Riverdale's first openly gay character Kevin that he doesn't feel any particular attraction to boys or girls.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources during last year's New York Comic Con, Archie author Chip Zdarsky explained that his decision to officially make Jughead asexual stemmed from his feeling that the characterization of him as not liking women stemmed from a point in time when we didn't really have a word to describe Jughead's sexuality.
"My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual," Zdarsky said. "They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater."
But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.
Whether this update to Judgead's character will carry over to the new live-action series where he'll be played by Cole Sprouse isn't clear, but if it does, Jughead will become one of the only openly asexual characters on network television.