Filmmaker Releases Iron and Rage to Contribute to National Conversation of Fairer Asian American Representation in Hollywood.
Netflix’s Iron Fist Whitewashing Controversy Ignites Filmmaker to Reimagine Marvel with Asian American Superhero and Diverse Cast
In anticipation of this week’s release of Netflix’s Iron Fist series — which controversially cast a white actor to play the titular character to tell an “outsider” narrative — Asian American actor and filmmaker John Brougher produced a short film in response. His film, Iron and Rage, reimagines Marvel and portrays an Asian American superhero with a diverse supporting cast. It was released yesterday in a live-streamed conversation with The Nerds of Color’s Keith Chow.
“We put this film together in just a weekend to tell a quiet story that is revolutionary in its execution – namely, that casting actors from different backgrounds doesn’t have to be a sacrifice or tradeoff, but a powerful creative move that lifts up unheard voices and allows our art to go further,” says Brougher. “I hope that this project will contribute to the broader conversation of recognizing Asian Americans fairly and authentically in Hollywood and challenge studios and networks to be more inclusive.”
Over the past several years, a growing national conversation has emerged on the urgent need for greater diversity in casting, including Asian American representation in the media — from who plays roles onscreen to what characters exist or are absent to what stories are even told at all. In addition to the casting of Iron Fist, controversy had arisen over a variety of recent movies, including the casting of Emma Stone in Aloha, Matt Damon in fantasy film The Great Wall, and Scarlett Johansson in anime-based film Ghost in the Shell.
There have been many leading voices on the issue of Asian American representation in entertainment, including actor Constance Wu; comedian Margaret Cho; and directors such as Andrew Ahn, Justin Lin, and Jon Chu.