Marvel casts a white guy as Iron Fist, internet loses it’s shit


The long and controversial road for the casting or Marvel’s Iron Fist has ended, and the internet outrage culture is having seizures as they curse the ultimate misogynistic shitlord’s Marvel for casting a white guy (Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones) instead of an Asian as the role of Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. These people have never read a comic in their life and decided to latch on to this as their latest moral crusade. Of course, fans of Iron Fist, who first debuted in a Marvel comic book in May 1974, know that his alter-ego, Danny Rand, is indeed white.

iron-fist-series-confirmed-for-netflix-727247Describe as a blond, blue-eyed orphan who is trained in the martial arts in the mystical city in the Himalayan mountains. Not that I care because we are finally getting to see Iron Fist on the big screen for the very first fucken time. Marvel has been really good with their casting choices in the MCU, and I stand 100% by them for choosing Fin Jones as Iron Fist. Them caving into the outrage culture on the internet would be a betrayal to what they have already built so far in the MCU. Just further prove that the people who are outraged at this have no clue on the subject matter they are outraged about.

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About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
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11 Responses to Marvel casts a white guy as Iron Fist, internet loses it’s shit

  1. Pingback: Create your own damn characters… | Suitably Bored

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  3. xmenxpert says:

    I would argue being rich has more to do with his privilege than being white. And he’d still be privileged as a rich Asian-American. The cross-racial relationships with Luke and Misty would also still be there; there’s more to race relations than just black-and-white.

    You are right that changing his race changes the character. Instead of his story being one of cultural appropriation, it becomes one of cultural RE-appropriation, a person reconnecting with a heritage they’d previously rejected. Not a story that gets told very often, in contrast with the very standard story of a white guy adopting a non-white culture. An Asian-American Iron Fist is a vastly more unique story than a white Iron Fist.

    Because here’s the thing: Danny Rand’s story is one that’s been done before. It’s been done countless times. It’s a story of a white person where a non-white culture is used as a backdrop. Yes, Iron Fist has had a lot of great stories. (He’s also had some bad ones.) He’s a good character with a lot of history, and with stories that have, at various times, dealt with race relations, class relations and even cultural appropriation.

    None of this changes the fact that the character’s creation comes from a place of cultural appropriation. It doesn’t change the fact that an Asian culture is being used as a prop for a white man’s story. And it doesn’t change the fact that this is part of a very long trend that is frustrating to a lot of Asian-Americans, who would love a chance to be the heroes of their own stories but who are never given the chance in a mainstream way because mainstream Western media has huge barriers to access. The best Shang-Chi pitch imaginable still has to get past studio execs who are still sceptical of Asian and Asian-American leads.

    But maybe, hopefully, all the discussion of an Asian-American Iron Fist might actually get an exec to see a market for a Shang-Chi show. Like I said, if that show happens, it will be because of the outrage you’re dismissing.

  4. larch says:

    If they want an Asian master of Kung Fu then just skip Iron Fist completely and do the Master of Kung Fu, or Shang Chi, or anyone else, but iron Fist is Danny Rand, Luke Cage’s White buddy by way of Kun Lun. Danny’s whiteness is an important part of his relationship with Luke Cage, and that the Heroes For Hire stories of Powerman and the Iron Fist are the best of the Iron fist stories; making Danny’s whiteness important to the breadth of the character.

    He is classically a story about an american boy growing up in the hidden city of kunlun, where he is an outcast, once he returns to America, he’s part of a very rich family, making him a rich privileged white man in america. He casts all of that away and moves in with the most underprivileged people in order to try to help. His best friend is an ex-con that gains powers while being experimented on in prison and they irritate the shit out of each other, being from completely different worlds but joining in a deep lasting friendship.

    His white privilege is a constant source of dealing with racism and classism in the comics, his relationship with Black superhero Misty Knight was one of Marvel’s first interracial relationships, which at the time it was published was kind of a huge deal. Make Danny asian, and suddenly he’s not from the most privileged social class in America, and has to deal with racism there, changing the stories that can be breached with him.

    If you read any of the source material you would have known this so I call bullshit on your “I actually do know plenty about the source material””

    So change his race, and you actually DO change the character. And then it is a story about a different person, in different circumstances, getting the Iron Fist. At that point, might as well call it something else…

  5. larch says:

    You still don’t get it because you are stuck on those two little words “white wash”and “cultural appropriation” but then again the people who complain know very little or nothing of the source material. The liberal geniuses believe he should have been cast as an Asian actor. This is what the “progressives” are really missing in their “superior” thought process that allegedly stomps out “white privilege” and racism against minorities.

    They are racist in their own beliefs and don’t even recognize it. They just stereotyped Asians, and they are too blind to even recognize the error in their own thinking. If you are an expert at martial arts, you must be Asian. By its very definition, that’s racism — the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

    If he’s Asian it’s a stereotype and if he’s a white outsider who is nevertheless accepted inside (shades of Kwai Chang Caine). it’s a racist trope. Ow! Ow! Logic stick! Hurt! Hurt!

    • xmenxpert says:

      First, I actually do know plenty about the source material. I’ve read most of Iron Fist’s early run (along with Power Man & Iron Fist). I know who the character is. There are people who create comics saying this stuff. There are people who are long-time commentators on comics talking about this stuff. So your condescending “they just don’t know the character” bit is false. A lot of people who LIKE the character are saying this stuff, too. But again: It’s actually irrelevant, because it’s about something a lot bigger than Iron Fist. It’s about Asian cultures being used as a way of telling white stories.

      This isn’t about martial arts. No one has a problem with white characters who do martial arts. What people have a problem with is stories where an Asian culture is used as a prop to tell a white guy’s story. What people have a problem with is crap like The Last Samurai.

      This isn’t complicated. You simply don’t want to actually look at what people are saying, because you find it easier and more satisfying to get outraged at “outrage culture.” As though railing against people railing against injustices is productive, as if it makes you a better person than they are.

  6. xmenxpert says:

    Here’s the thing: When people are upset about something, and you don’t really see why, there’s usually a context that you’re simply not aware of.

    Iron Fist is a character that comes from a place of cultural appropriation. It’s an Asian culture being used to tell a white guy’s story. And that’s pretty common. That’s something Asian-Americans see a lot. And they object to it, but no one ever notices. This is the rare occasion where other people noticed them talking, and some people read their arguments, felt they had valid complaints, and chose to add their own voices as a form of signal boosting.

    The Iron Fist controversy isn’t about Iron Fist. It’s about much larger issues regarding Western media’s treatment of Asian cultures and Asian-Americans. It’s about getting a discussion going about those issues. That’s what the Asian-American community really wants: To be heard. To have people read their words and say, “Huh, I understand why this trend bothers them.”

    Also keep in mind this is all happening at the same time that Marvel straight-up whitewashed the Ancient One for Dr. Strange, which was met largely with silence, especially from the people defending a white Danny Rand. The people who are outraged at the outrage over Danny say nothing about the fact that whitewashing still happens in 2016. So, you know, that context also plays into this.

    Oh, and for the record: I have read plenty of comics, including plenty of comics in which Iron Fist appears. I could also point out that some of the people who supported the Asian-American Iron Fist campaign include comic book writers like Gail Simone (a big Iron Fist fan) and Marjorie Liu (among others), along with no shortage of comic book commentators. So, plenty of people who do, in fact, have firm groundings in comic books talked about it. But you know what? Knowledge of the comics is irrelevant in this case, because it’s not actually about the comics, it’s about the broader cultural context in which the character exists.

    • larch says:

      TLDR: Your entire argument falls flat. Iron Fist is not a character that comes from a place of cultural appropriation. It is not an Asian culture being used to tell a white guy’s story. Because he was originally a white guy in the comic book, and that is pretty much FACT: http://marvel.com/universe/Iron_Fist_(Danny_Rand) Knowledge of the comics is irrelevant? You mean stick your head in the sand and ignore the facts in front of you. This has nothing to do with white washing or cultural appropriation. Any everything to do with the instant outrage culture we live in. The solution to Hollywood’s diversity crisis isn’t to start making every straight, white male character female or gay or Pacific Islander or black or Latino. It’s to create new shows about fully formed characters of every color and stripe.

      • xmenxpert says:

        Yes, he is white in the comics. And the comic was using an Asian culture to tell a white guy’s story. They made a white character. Then they included, in his origin, a fictionalized version of an Asian culture. Therefore, they used an Asian culture as a prop for a white guy’s story.

        And this is something that’s pretty common. That’s why I say knowledge of the comics is irrelevant: Because it’s not actually about the comics. The Iron Fist controversy is not about Iron Fist. It is about a long trend of Asian cultures being used as props for the stories of white people. That is what people are objecting to, and that is something that is equally true regardless of the medium being discussed.

        Cultural appropriation and whitewashing are exactly what this is about. This whole thing came about because Asian-Americans – including some within the comic industry, by the way! – talked about it, and got the attention of other people. It’s not about “outrage culture.” Though I will say this: If Marvel does make a show about an Asian or Asian-American character, the controversy over Iron Fist will be the reason why it happens. That’s the point of discussing these sorts of issues: To make things better going forward.

        And how cute that you think it’s so easy to create more diverse shows. As though there’s no barrier to access. Like some guy could just say, “Hey, I want to make a show with an Asian-American male in the lead role,” and some TV studio exec will say, “Great! Let’s do it!” This sort of thing is really difficult. But you know what helps? People talking about a lack of representation of various groups being a problem, and talking about how they want it to be better. So, things like the discussion of an Asian-American Iron Fist. The more people talk about something like that, the more the people who make these decisions will realize, “Oh, hey, there’s a demand for this stuff, it’s a market that might be worth getting a piece of.” If no one talks about it, then nothing happens.

        The “outrage culture” you mock is what makes change happen.

  7. Can’t please everyone. Try cast people of ethnicity that doesn’t reflect the original character and people lose their shit, cast people of the accurate ethnicity and people still lose their shit, Jesus christ just shut the entire entertainment industry down, fuckers can go entertain themselves with Monopoly or some shit… OH WAIT THEY’LL BITCH ABOUT RICH UNCLE PENNYBAGS BEING WHITE.

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