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Marvel TV shows haven't shied away from hot button topics like race in the past, but the latest controversy may be among the most intense to date. The casting of Finn Jones as Danny Rand a.k.a Iron Fist in his upcoming Netflix series has generated some unfavorable comments, with many arguing that the role is tailor-made for an Asian actor -- a demographic which is already sorely underrepresented in Hollywood. Now it seems that Finn Jones has chimed in on the matter, and he wants fans to wait to see Iron Fist before they rush to criticize the casting choice. He explained:
What I would say to that is, people should wait, and watch the show before they pass judgment... The comic books were written in the '70s. 1970s was a very different world to 2016, and we're going to reflect that. We have an incredibly diverse cast; incredibly talented. What I would say to that is, wait until you've seen the show, and then pass judgment, before you make comment, because people will be very, very, very pleasantly surprised with what we're doing in the show.
During a recent Q&A session at New York Comic-Con (via Comicbook.com) Finn Jones addressed the Iron Fist casting issue, and implored audiences to wait until they have seen the show before passing any sort of judgment. He rationalized that the character of Danny Rand represents certain racial stereotypes of a bygone era, and this new depiction of Iron Fist will reflect a far more contemporary outlook on the Marvel mythos. Within the context of The Defenders' universe, it will all make sense in the end.
This issue is a tough nut to crack. On one hand, Iron Fist is most certainly a character built upon Asian racial stereotypes, which means that casting an Asian actor doesn't inherently fix the problem. Danny Rand is already a white character in the pages of Marvel comics, and bringing in an Asian actor to portray these stereotypes might not go over well with fans. On the other hand, Luke Cage recently proved that embracing the campy stereotypes of the source material can be an incredibly powerful creative step. In the end, it really comes down to how the team behind the show handles the material.
Check out the first official trailer for the Iron Fist series below to get a better look at the upcoming Netflix series:
It seems that "see the movie before you judge" has become the go-to response whenever an actor gets called out for racial concerns. The exact same thing recently happened to Matt Damon concerning the upcoming release of The Great Wall, which similarly centers on a white hero taking center stage in an Asian-centric story. Ultimately, there are no easy answers to this debate
Marvel has done a phenomenal job in regards to finding the right actors for the right roles thus far, so our hope remains strong that Finn Jones can pull this off. We will know for sure when Iron Fist debuts on March 17, 2017. Until then, make sure to check out our comprehensive fall TV premiere schedule.