Belfast Telegraph

Iron Fist comic co-creator not happy about Netflix TV show race row

Roy Thomas, the co-creator of the Iron Fist comic books, has defended the new Netflix adaptation following accusations the main character has been “whitewashed”.

The TV series based on the Marvel comic stars British actor Finn Jones as Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, a superhero who practises martial arts and has control of a mystical force.

While Rand is white in the comic books, critics have argued the part should now be played by an Asian actor.

Mr Thomas, who created the character with artist Gil Kane in 1974, told Inverse he has not been involved in the TV series but has little patience for the criticism.

He said: “People began making me aware of the fact that some people are complaining, as I think they have over the years, about cultural appropriation and crap like that, which just makes me furious.”

He added: “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.

“He was a character for a comic book at a different time. 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.

“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.

“I just think some people have too much time on their hands, I guess. They have an infinite capacity for righteous indignation.”

Jessica Henwick, who plays Colleen Wing on the show, appeared to criticise Roy’s use of the word “oriental” when she wrote on Twitter:

Marvel’s Iron Fist is streaming on Netflix now.

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