Marvel Writer Criticizes Netflix for Casting White ‘Iron Fist’

Marjorie Liu calls “Iron Fist” an “orientalist-white-man-yellow-fever narrative” after “Game of Thrones” star Finn Jones is cast as series lead

Finn Jones

A prominent Marvel comic-book writer was among those who took to Twitter Thursday to criticize the casting of “Game of Thrones” actor Finn Jones in the titular role of Netflix’s Marvel series “Iron Fist.”

While debates about the casting choice raged on, one narrative rose to the top: Many users were angry that Netflix didn’t cast an Asian actor in the role.

“Iron Fist is an orientalist-white-man-yellow-fever narrative,” said Marvel comic book writer Marjorie Liu. “Asian actor would have helped subvert that offensive trope, and reclaim space.”

Liu, who wrote “Dark Wolverine” and “X-23” titles for Marvel, also retweeted similar sentiments from others disappointed in the casting news.

The writer has been outspoken on the casting of “Iron Fist” since December, when she tweeted, “Let me be blunt: I won’t watch Iron Fist if they cast a white dude. I can’t do it anymore. I’ve reached my limit. Peace out.”

While Danny Rand is a blond-haired Caucasian in the original Marvel comic books, many saw the upcoming television adaptation as an opportunity to inject some diversity.

Pop culture collective The Nerds of Color originated the #AAIronFist hashtag and have been campaigning for an Asian actor to be cast in the role since December, calling out Hollywood whitewashing various Asian source material in the past.

Still there were others who are not convinced the campaign isn’t misguided.

“I’m for representation, but ‘make Iron Fist asian bc martial arts’ sounds a bit racist as well,” said one user.

Below is a sampling of people outraged at the casting of a white actor as Iron Fist.