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Iron Fist Actor Finn Jones Gets Involved In Twitter Spat Over Race

Iron Fist is getting into a few jabbing matches – and his series hasn’t even debuted yet. Finn Jones plays the titular Danny Rand in the upcoming superhero series being developed by Netflix. Just a week before the series’ debut, though, he has gotten involved in a minor Twitter spat about race.

Jones has since stepped away from the social media site, citing the need to focus on filming the rest of The Defenders, where he’ll also be starring. It seems like the noise on Twitter had becoming a distraction. How exactly did this all go down?

Different Backgrounds

It all started when Jones tweeted about the need for diverse representation. He was referencing a speech given by actor Riz Ahmed to Parliament.

The tweet was then replied to by the account @AsyiqinHaron, who tweeted a sarcastic “Are you for real?”

It seemed that the reply had been in reference to the character of Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. In the original comics, Danny Rand was a Caucasian man, as is Jones. However, his superpowers are generally derived from martial arts and the mysticism of chi energy – concepts that are inherently Asian in nature. Prior to the series’ development, many called for the casting of an Asian-American Danel Rand. However, Jones was eventually cast in an effort to stay true to the comic origins.

Jones says as much in his reply tweets: “Yes I am for real,” he says, “Please don’t make assumptions on our show before you have seen it. The characterization of Danny Rand may have remained true to its source material but our show incorporates and celebrates actors from all different backgrounds… There are a lot of characteristics in Danny which are problematic, that’s the point, rather than shy away from them, we inspect them. It makes for a rich, intelligent, thought provoking show.”

One of the responses that followed included this: “I don’t doubt it. I’m just saying an Asian Danny Rand could’ve made an even bigger impact but sure. Do you?”

Can You Whitewash What’s Already White?

The issue of whitewashing has been a prevalent one in recent times. Marvel has arguably been guilty of this – it cast Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (though, Iron Fist and The Defenders are being produced under the Netflix Banner, rather than Marvel Studios). The casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Kusanagi for the upcoming Ghost In The Shell has similarly come under fire.

However, does whitewashing count if the character was white to begin with? Some even argued that casting Danny Rand as Asian just because he was a martial arts practitioner would be racist as well.

In any case, the Twitter issue is unlikely to deter viewers from checking Iron Fist out; anticipation for it remains high. The series will premiere on Netflix this March 17, and set up The Defenders crossover with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

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