White Iron Fist Sparks Racial Controversy and Criticism

Iron Fist

The Internet predictably was swept up in a storm of racial controversy yesterday when Entertainment Weekly broke the story that Finn Jones (the Knight of Flowers Loras Tyrell from Game of Thrones) will lead the next Netflix/Marvel collaboration, Iron Fist. Now, even a notable Marvel Comics writer is one of the those to take to Twitter Thursday to excoriate the controversial casting decision’s racial implications.

Liu, a prolific and prominent writer who has written stories for the X-Men, Wolverine and Black Widow, had previously expressed disappointment if this event were to occur.

Long subject of a Twitter crusade with the hashtag #AAIronFist originated from pop culture collective The Nerds of Color, there was a desire among fans to cast an Asian-American actor in the role of Danny Rand / Iron Fist (although in the comics, the character is indeed Caucasian and practically Aryan). Marvel describes the series thusly:

Returning to New York City after being missing for years, Daniel Rand fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

With The Defenders miniseries forthcoming and the roles of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage filled by a white guy, a white woman and a black man, there was a desire to see further diversity by casting an Asian-American actor.

Critics of #AAIronFist contend that the character is historically white and that casting an Asian-American actor would not only be pandering but insulting because of the character’s martial arts background. Yeah, I don’t really understand the last one either.

Jones has been with Game of Thrones since the very beginning, but his Loras is in trouble in both book and TV form. While in the books he is horrifically burned by boiling oil in an assault on the Baratheon home of Dragonstone, in the show he is a captive of the High Sparrow, charged with being a homosexual and perjury.

While it is definitely possible Loras survives Season 6, I personally think it is unlikely that Jones would or could juggle both shows. More likely, Jones was able to take this job because his previous one has, ahem, ended. We shall see. Sound off on his Iron Fist casting below in the comments.

SOURCE: The Wrap

Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn

Sam is a writer and journalist whose passion for pop culture burns with the fire of a thousand suns and at least three LED lamps.