Home Forums Television What do you think of the "Iron Fist" whitewashing debate?

What do you think of the "Iron Fist" whitewashing debate?

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  • Teridax
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    #1202051332

    I posted these thoughts in the form of several comments under this review, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhuUj6ClZkE&google_comment_id=z13oe5wxnsarjvork04cjtor3vqxj5wh3w40k

    I would sincerely appreciate some feedback and thoughts from my fellow Derbyites on this multilayered specific subject, but first here are my own:

    Iron Fist isn’t “whitewashing” Asian culture, it would be horrifically stereotypical to have this kung fu story star an Asian person because STEREOTYPES. Plus, Iron Fist was white in the comics, but who cares about the comics, right??? I’m all for inclusive casting and progress, but these obliviously offensive accusations hurt the cause. Pick your battles, like Ghost In The Shell, or (Even though I loved it) Doctor Strange, or you know, some actual case of actual whitewashing, that isn’t based off of laughably misguided white liberal STEREOTYPES. >:(

    Just to CLARIFY, it seems like there was a lot of Asian fans who didn’t get what the hype was about, although I do recognize the danger of the WAAAAY overdone “White Savior” trope. Just look at f**king Avatar, Dances With Wolves, The Last Samurai. To quote Last Week Tonight on Hollywood’s whitewashing excuse, “The roles are there, they’re just usually played by white people.” The key difference is, unlike Doctor Strange, or Ghost in the Shell, or the f**king Conqueror where JOHN WAYNE played GENGHIS KHAN (that shit’s real, look it up!), Iron Fist was never a white role to begin with. It literally isn’t whitewashing in that case. As for the “cultural appropriation,” normally I would argue that America is a melting pot, but in this particular case I feel THIS criticism is a completely valid one, seeing as how we almost NEVER see Asian people appropriate white culture in the same way. Can’t afford to be a hypocrite on this one, not in the slightest bit. :\

    +Bilal Jones (Responding to another commenter) Okay, you’re right about it not being “horrifically” so. That was hyperbole. But it is still stereotyping nonetheless. THIS character however, WAS actually Asian from the comics, and I would love to see him included on the show someday. Played by an Asian actor, obviously! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shang-Chi ;)

    An asian guy who knows kung fu is not a stereotype.” I totally agree about THAT! I just hate the ASSUMING tone that even though in the comics Iron Fist was white, just because the show is kung fu-oriented (NO pun intended!) the lead should be Asian? Why not make Matt Murdock or Jessica Jones Asian? I’d be cool with that! It’s just the way people are arguing for the Asian lead ONLY in this specific show ONLY because of this subject matter annoys me. It just seems racially insensitive to not make that argument about any other Marvel show or character that was originally white, yet because of the cultural subject matter they choose to ONLY make it about Iron Fist and Danny Rand. I’m not a super-PC person, but that just isn’t up to my personal standards of PC. What’s really funny is that the people who were arguing ONLY for the Asian Iron Fist think that they are the PC ones, and not the ones doing any of the potentially harmful stereotyping.

    But I see your points, and acknowledge that there indeed are PC and valid arguments to be made for BOTH sides in this debate. :)

    Oh, and FYI, I have NOT seen Iron Fist and do not plan to. I looked at the story summary on Wikipedia after all the atrocious reviews, and I have to say it looked ridiculously boring. ;P

    +takanara7 I hear ya. Honestly, in spite of stereotypes, I might have considered watching Iron Fist just to see the great Jackie Chan back in action. A man with REAL Iron Fists! Who knows, I know he’s kind of old now, but maybe his star charisma could have helped elevate the shitty material. :D

    13:02 I really like Alonso’s comment here. If there had been some context and solid background to the world of Iron Fist, even with a white lead, it definitely would have helped the show in the long run. Instead (according to critics, though interestingly not many fans?), we got this convoluted, lifeless mess of a TV show.

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    Teridax
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    #1202051334

    Please feel free to comment! And please be respectful of each other, we can all have our own perspectives. 🙂

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    Anonymous
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    #1202051352

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    moviefan61794
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    #1202051376

    You came on here to talk about the controversy but you don’t even plan on watching the show?

    …………..girl, bye.

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    Anonymous
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    #1202051393

    Well Iron Fist was one of my favorite comic characters so I am going to talk about this. The character was created in the 70s when you couldn’t really have an Asian character. They wanted money. So they created Danny’s rand and ended up making a really cool character. He was white in the comics because at the time he had to be.

    Next, the character is King Fu based. Many people were saying that why can’t we have Asian roles that aren’t Kung Fu ninjas or geeks. Tht is a really good point. Why can’t Iron man or captain America or the wasp be Asian? It will slowly eventually happen. As for the show, some people were saying it would be annoying to create another Kung Fu Asian role.

    However, what I thought would be the best solution would be to cast a Latino actor. I know that we need more Asian lead characters, which we can eventually do, but Iron Fist was white not Asian. We also have no Latino characters and by casting a Latino actor it would have avoided both the Asian Kung Fu controversy and the white savior controversy.

    However, I do understand the casting of a white actor. It is just going with the comic material. Even though I think it is a bad decision, they have the right to make that decision. I do not think that the show should be attacked because they went with the comic material.

    However, the show should be attacked for the fact that it isn’t good. Why isn’t it good. Because they cast a terrible actor. And the writing. The writing sucks too. But Finn Jones cannot act. And the sad thing is that they almost cast an Asian actor. So it’s like, you caused an entire controversy over this guy. He is really bad. And it’s sad because it could have been better with a better actor. Because overall, the acting isn’t bad. It should also be noted that they went through a color blind casting process.

    So that’s my opinion. It’s a bad decision and a bad show, but it should not be attacked for going with its source material.

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    pulp50
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    #1202051450

    How the fuck can you whitewash a white character? I would have had no problem if they made the character Asian, or Latino, or whatever refer to Hunterbergfeld’s argument above, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the source material. As for the show itself I’m not sure how anyone made it through the first episode.

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    vinny
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    #1202051460

    I heard its not great so I didn’t watch but my sister watched the first episode and said the lead is miscast.

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    Anonymous
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    #1202051469

    How the fuck can you whitewash a white character? I would have had no problem if they made the character Asian, or Latino, or whatever refer to Hunterbergfeld’s argument above, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the source material. As for the show itself I’m not sure how anyone made it through the first episode.

    I did. Finn Jones is terrible. I think it’s okay that a white actor is cast but it’s hard to justify when he is the guy they cast.

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    LaChienne
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    #1202051470

    I haven’t seen it yet but I probably will just to be a completionist before The Defenders even though I haven’t really liked the last few entries into the Marvel Netflix universe (season 2 of Daredevil fucking blew outside of Bernthal and Luke Cage was a slog when they killed off their best shot). I hear it’s not apocalyptically bad, but still bad. And that’s bad.

    Yeah, really the only way they could have avoided controversy at all from bored people on the internet who zero in on these things was by making the lead neither Asian (“What????so????all Asians are good at martial arts now???????STereotypes……l mao….”) nor white (“Um…….white savior complex…..white privilege……olll mao….”) but considering they stayed pretty damn true to to the first three leads…

    Honestly it just kind of felt like hashtag controversy-of-the-month stuff like trying to give Captain America a boyfriend. I really dgaf.

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    LaChienne
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    #1202051474

    How the fuck can you whitewash a white character? I would have had no problem if they made the character Asian, or Latino, or whatever refer to Hunterbergfeld’s argument above, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the source material. As for the show itself I’m not sure how anyone made it through the first episode.

    I did. Finn Jones is terrible. I think it’s okay that a white actor is cast but it’s hard to justify when he is the guy they cast.

    I didn’t think he was bad on Game of Thrones but I guess this is a role that shows his limitations as an actor both dramatically and during fight scenes.

    Actually I take back what I said earlier. You know who would have kicked ass even though the casting would have made no sense? Iko Uwais. That dude doesn’t even need superpowers and he can kill you with a paperclip. Smh so wasted in Star Wars. He could have been unstoppable.

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    Anonymous
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    #1202051485

    I think there are plenty of white dudes that could have done good. Hell, Connor Jessup could do it. Same with Latino actors. Even though let’s be honest Hollywood is racist so I can’t name any of the top of my head. An Indian or middle eastern actor could have been good as well, Riz Ahmed litlerally embodies the character of Iron Fist in the comics. Now that I think about it he would have been perfect.

    Marvel already shot the Defenders but I hope they recast Finn Jones after that.

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    pulp50
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    #1202051582

    How the fuck can you whitewash a white character? I would have had no problem if they made the character Asian, or Latino, or whatever refer to Hunterbergfeld’s argument above, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the source material. As for the show itself I’m not sure how anyone made it through the first episode.

    I did. Finn Jones is terrible. I think it’s okay that a white actor is cast but it’s hard to justify when he is the guy they cast.

    Yeah Finn Jones was the worst part for me. He was fine on GOT but that was a very limited role.

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    Teridax
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    #1202051745

    How the fuck can you whitewash a white character? I would have had no problem if they made the character Asian, or Latino, or whatever refer to Hunterbergfeld’s argument above, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the source material. As for the show itself I’m not sure how anyone made it through the first episode.

    EXACTLY!!!!!! Thank you! 😀

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    Teridax
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    #1202051746

    I think there are plenty of white dudes that could have done good. Hell, Connor Jessup could do it. Same with Latino actors. Even though let’s be honest Hollywood is racist so I can’t name any of the top of my head. An Indian or middle eastern actor could have been good as well, Riz Ahmed litlerally embodies the character of Iron Fist in the comics. Now that I think about it he would have been perfect.

    Marvel already shot the Defenders but I hope they recast Finn Jones after that.

    Oh my gosh Riz Ahmed would have been great! He really deserves a signature role of his own. I also think that Aaron Paul or John Boyega (who says Luke Cage has to be the ONLY black superhero?) could have been amazing.

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    Teridax
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    #1202051758

    @lechienne

    I completely agree on Daredevil Season 2. I didn’t even care for Bernthal, I seriously thought that Ray Stevenson was far superior in Punisher: War Zone. For me, I got disinterested in Luke Cage after the first 2 episodes, just didn’t grab me.

    I personally think whitewashing is a real issue in Hollywood, but in this case I feel like people are obviously and even offensively “crying wolf.” Awareness of stereotypes are important, not only the “white savior” trope, but including cultural ones as well. However, if you don’t give a shit, that’s totally cool. You seem very reasonable and sane regarding this mess, so good for you. 🙂

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