His Marvin Gaye biopic still in production (although I suspect it's in post-production currently), Jesse L. Martin has booked a role in The CW's Flash pilot, to play Detective West, who's described as a respectable, blue-collar cop and surrogate father to Barry Allen aka The Flash (played by Grant Gustin).
Based on my research, in the comics, the character West is white, and is the father of Barry's/The Flash's eventual wife, Iris West, who is also white.
But character breakdowns for both Detective West and Iris West, which circulated the web last month, indicate that they will be African American.
IRIS - 22-28 - African American - As smart as she is beautiful, Iris is in grad school studying psychology. She's also Barry's mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend. Her father, Detective West, took in Barry when his mother was murdered, and his father was wrongly accused and imprisoned for her murder. In a tough childhood for Barry, she was the one "not tough" thing. She's unaware of Barry's strong feelings for her.DETECTIVE WEST - Late 40s to Early 50s - African American - Detective West is an honest, blue-collar cop who's seen it all. A soulful, funny caring father to Iris, and a surrogate father to Barry, West came up through the foster system himself. He took in Barry after his mother's murder and his father's imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports Barry's efforts to prove his father's innocence.
Casting for Iris has yet to be announced. What 22-28 black actress would be a fit?
I'm sure this casting "race-change" news will attract the usual onslaught of racist comments.
The show is actually a spin-off of The Arrow, and will be executive-produced by Arrow executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, as well as DC Comics' Geoff Johns.
On the small screen, Jesse L. Martin most recently recurred on Smash.