The moment Finn Jones was announced as Danny Rand — better known as Iron Fist — there was a significant amount of controversy surrounding the casting. Although the character in the comics was also white, a fair amount of Marvel fans thought the House of Ideas may have been better off casting an Asian actor in the role, mostly in part because a good chunk of the Iron Fist source material takes place in K’un-Lun, a mystical city that appears in the region of Tibet once every seven years.
The controversy came to a head this weekend when Jones himself took to Twitter to respond to a fellow user of the micro-blogging service after he was asked to clarify and earlier tweet. When Jones shared a tweet in which he expressed that representation is important, Twitter user Asyiqin Haron ask if he was being serious.
Jones responded with a series tweets in which he doubled down on his previous retweet and explained that he thinks Iron Fist is the most diverse of the Marvel Netflix shows. He went on to explain that being white is one of Danny’s characteristics that the show “inspects.”
After the end of the Twitter exchange, which can be seen in its entirely in the screenshots provided by Haron below, Jones temporarily took his Twitter account offline. After being inactive for just half a day, Jones returned to Twitter shortly before noon today.
Jones offered an official statement to entertainment website Deadline later this afternoon in which he stated he wanted to take time off from social media to focusing on his role in The Defenders.
“There is a huge benefit to engage and help shape conversations on social media, especially when it comes to giving a voice to social matters. My original intention was to amplify a speech made by Riz Ahmed at the House of Commons. It was a very articulate and important speech on representation that I wholly agreed with,” Jones offered in his statement. “After posting I was inundated by people accusing me of not being allowed to share his voice based on an assumption that our show is going to play into the problems of racial inequality on screen. I engaged politely, diplomatically and attempted to bridge the divide. I’m currently in the middle of filming and I need to stay focused on bringing to life this character without judgment, so I decided to remove myself from twitter for the time being.”
Jones continued his statement to by expressing how proud he was of the work completed on the series.
“I am very proud of the work everyone has done on this series and I’m excited for people to see how we’ve adapted the story. We have gone to great lengths to represent a diverse cast with an intelligent, socially progressive storyline,” reflected Jones. “I hope people can watch the show before making judgments. In times, as divisive as these, we need to stay unified, compassionate and understanding in our differences.”
Fifteen years after being presumed dead in a plane crash, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) mysteriously returns to New York City determined to reclaim his birthright and family company. However, when a long-destined enemy rises in New York, this living weapon is forced to choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
Marvel’s Iron Fist was developed by Scott Buck. The Netflix series stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. The cast also includes Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, and Rosario Dawson.
Marvel’s Iron Fist premieres March 17, 2017 exclusively on Netflix.
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