Riverdale writer Britta Lundin has spoken about the ambiguity surrounding Jughead’s asexuality in an interview with the hosts of the Fansplaining podcast.
"I mean the Jughead situation’s interesting. Jughead has been a character that’s been around for 75 years,” Lundin said.
“In the most recent run of the Jughead comics written by Chip Zdarsky, Jughead came out explicitly as asexual in those comics," she said. “He’s never really shown interest in women and he’s always loved hamburgers and you could definitely read that as asexual.”
A recent episode of Riverdale showed Jughead kissing Betty Cooper—with many fans calling the move ‘asexual erasure’—but the podcast was recorded before that particular episode was aired.
Lundin said there while there are “a million” different Riverdale canons, Jughead is “not explicitly anything right now” on the show.
“I don’t know what the right answer here is, because I think the best thing to do is be truthful, and the truth is, it’s not addressed in Season 1.”
Lundin was careful to say that she was unsure if Riverdale would ever address Jughead’s asexuality, adding that she did not want to mislead viewers.
"And I think that’s what queerbaiting is like, pretending like you’re gonna do it and then not actually... having zero intention of actually doing it. I don’t know if Riverdale’s pretending like we’re gonna do it."
The writer also spoke about the decision to include a scene where characters Betty and Veronica kiss.
Lundin said she had no idea what showrunner Roberto Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had in mind but attempted to guess what his intention was.
“I believe what he meant was exactly what Cheryl said the very next line that came out of anyone’s mouth after the kiss, when Cheryl says something like ‘Sorry ladies, faux lesbian kissing hasn’t been in since 1999,’ whatever she said," she ventured.
“So if I had to guess- I guess Roberto meant this is not a gay thing, this is just something they’re doing to make a big splash and Cheryl immediately undercuts it."
Lundin is one of five gay writers on the Riverdale team, out of 11 total, and has pitched multiple lesbian storylines for the show, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will make it to the show.