Ahead of the series’ release onto the streaming service on March 17, Marvel has been criticized for its casting of a white man becoming the greatest champion of martial arts, and previously faced pressure to cast an Asian-American actor as the Iron First.
In an interview with Vulture, Jones was asked what his thoughts were regarding critics’ claim that “Iron Fist” was a racist story about a “white savior who learns Asian martial arts.” In response, Jones replied: “There’s so much outrage in the internet these days, right? Why don’t people just — look, the issue is that people are judging before they’ve even seen the show. And that’s problematic. C’mon. Don’t get angry and start a mob when you don’t even — you haven’t even seen the show! You don’t even know what we’re doing with it. It’s unjust. It’s unfair. ” he said.
He continued by acknowledging the need for more diversity in both the media and in general, but also urged people to watch the show before making judgments.
“I get it. There needs to be more diversity in film and television, in all f—g aspects of life. There needs to be more diversity, period. Unfortunately, this show was picked, for whatever reason. I don’t fully understand, really, but what I say is, Watch the show. Watch the show, then make your opinions,” he added. “Also, c’mon, let’s get angry at the real f—ing injustices in the world, yeah? The real problems in the world,” he later went on. “Not just in television. There’s some real s— happening in the world right now that people need to get angry about.”
The character of Danny Rand, who becomes the Iron Fist, has been portrayed as a white male since the “Iron Fist'”comics debuted in the 1970’s, during the climax of the American Kung-Fu craze. Nonetheless, there has been commentary that casting Rand’s character as white would ignore the criticism Marvel has received in the past for its relatively uniform group of headlining superheroes.
Before Jones was cast, fans started a widely circulated petition asking Marvel to cast an Asian-American in the series. Marvel executives didn’t heed the advice, but they’ve stuck by their decision, having called the “Game of Thrones” veteran the “perfect choice” for the role.
Read the full interview with Jones here.