Despite a months (née years)-long campaign to have Marvel and Netflix consider Asian American actors for the role of Danny Rand in their upcoming Iron Fist show, it was announced that Game of Thrones star(?) Finn Jones had been cast in the role.
Honestly, is anyone actually surprised?
I’m not gonna rehash everything I’ve said (both here and on twitter) over the last two years. My main reason for writing the original article wasn’t to cause some mass movement on twitter, but just to present the possibility that Asian Americans could also be nuanced, heroic characters and that white maleness doesn’t have to be at the center of every superhero narrative. Or any narrative, for that matter. Alas, that point was lost on many. As evidenced by some of the gloating fanboys showing up in the NOC mentions and at the #AAIronFist tag.
In the end, Marvel decided to go with Finn Jones, the British actor best known as Ser Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones. And for what it’s worth, at least the actors we pitched were, you know, American. Anyway, here are some of the reactions to the casting on twitter:
On Jones’ Whiteness
On Orientalism and Cultural Appropriation
Hollywood’s History of Centering Whiteness in POC Stories
Whitesplaining Racism to Asian Americans
Accusations of Fake Geekness
Hey at least we got a badass Daredevil trailer featuring Elodie Yung as Elektra!
So, #AAIronFist was fun while it lasted. Now that another white British dude is playing a Marvel Superhero, fanboys can rest assured that their 21st century superhero television shows look exactly like their 40-year old comic books!
Meanwhile, we’ll move on to the next cause. Namely, getting Megalyn E.K. her own live action Vixen show! And if Greg Berlanti and company happen to be reading this, I got an idea for how to bring in an Asian American Richard Dragon to be Mari’s co-star/love interest…