Critics are bashing the new Marvel’s new superhero series Iron Fist. The Verge said: “”Iron Fist isn’t just racially uncomfortable, it’s a boring show.” While culture site Uproxxcalled called it “limp” and a “complete misfire.”
Racial issues surrounding the lead role:
Casting a white actor as the show’s martial arts expert hero, Danny Rand, has been the biggest disagreement critics had with the show. Several of them suggested to cast an Asian actor in the new Netflix series.
Keith Chow, pop-culture journalist, wrote an article titled “Marvel, Please Cast an Asian-American Iron Fist.” Chow noted that has been some pushback from Asian-Americans about his idea of casting an Asian actor in the role. “Because you’re choosing the one martial-arts guy”, using an Asian actor could be seen as reinforcing racial stereotypes
Backlash to Finn Jones comments:
The actor who plays Danny Rand, Finn Jones, quit Twitter this week over the backlash. He was accused of hypocrisy after retweeting a link to a speech by Rogue One star Riz Ahmed about racial diversity and representation.
In a series of tweets, Jones responded to his critics saying: “Please don’t make assumptions on our show before you have seen it. The characterization of Danny Rand may have remained true to its source material but our show incorporates and celebrates actors from all different backgrounds.”
He compared the show to other Marvel series, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, saying: “I will go so far as to say that it may be one of the most diverse shows out of the three. There are a lot of characteristics in Danny which are problematic, that’s the point, rather than shy away from them we inspect them. It makes for a rich, intelligent, thought provoking show. All of us making this show care about creating a socially progressive story whilst keeping true to the comic book fan base.”
Jones’s comments were not well received. He hasn’t posted on the social media platform since, except to retweet a comment by Bernie Sanders about Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Jessica Henwick, Jones’s co-star, had previously voiced concerns about appearing in the show, saying: “When they approached me about [playing the role of] Colleen, I was a little bit like, huh, do I want to play an Asian woman who does martial arts who’s a love interest? Do I want to do those three things?”
She continued saying: “I’ve shied away from playing Asian characters. But I reached a stage last year where I said, I want to start telling Asian stories, I want a young Asian girl to go, oh my God, that reminds me of my relationship with my mom. So I had some concerns, and [Marvel’s TV head] Jeph Loeb rang me and he said, “We’re going to take the stereotype, and we’re going to – we’re not going to avoid it, we’re going to inspect it.'”