Ever since it was announced that “Game of Thrones” actor Finn Jones would portray Danny Rand in Marvel and Netflix’s “Iron Fist,” there have been outspoken fans that have criticized the decision to not cast an Asian-American in the role. Now, Iron Fist co-creator Roy Thomas has weighed in on the controversy, sharing his thoughts on why he believes people are simply be making a mountain out of a molehill.
In an interview with The Inverse, Thomas first addressed the initial outcry regarding Jones’ casting. “Yeah, someone made me vaguely aware of that,” Thomas said. “I try not to think about it too much. I have so little patience for some of the feelings that some people have. I mean, I understand where it’s coming from. You know, cultural appropriation, my god. It’s just an adventure story. Don’t these people have something better to do than to worry about the fact that Iron Fist isn’t Oriental, or whatever word? I know Oriental isn’t the right word now, either.”
Later in the interview, Thomas would go on to say that Iron Fist was simply a product of his time, and that any such character is bound to face similar controversy as society progresses. “It’s very easy to second-guess anything. You can argue about Tarzan, you can argue about almost any character who came up then is bound to be not quite PC by some later standard or other,” he said. “Okay, so you can make some adjustments. If they wanted to kill off white Iron Fist and come up with one who wasn’t Caucasian, that wouldn’t have bothered me, but neither am I ashamed for having made up one who was. He wasn’t intended to stand for any race. He was just a man who was indoctrinated into a certain thing.”
Although many Marvel icons – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk, just to name a few – have been replaced by characters of a different gender and/or race over the years, Thomas went on to suggest that perhaps people should simply create entirely new characters if they’re unhappy with the stories being told with the classic ones. “I just think some people have too much time on their hands, I guess,” Thomas said. “They have an infinite capacity for righteous indignation. By and large, that tends to be misplaced quite often because if you’re becoming all upset over things that are just stories, and if you don’t like it, instead of trying to change somebody else’s story, go out and make up your own character and do a good job of it. That’s just fine, but why waste time trying to run down other people’s characters simply because they weren’t created with your standards in mind? Now if something is really racist or degrading to a sex or race, an ethnic group or something like that, that’s something else, but Iron Fist isn’t that and never has been. It’s all about a fictitious race, a fictitious place like a Shangri-La, and one person who happens to be its emissary. There’s no reason why he can’t be Caucasian.”
In “Iron Fist,” Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for 15 years, attempting to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery, and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.
Currently available on Netflix, “Iron Fist” is a production of Marvel Television, developed by Scott Buck and starring Finn Jones as Daniel Rand, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum, David Wenham as Harold Meachum, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)