Diversity Spotlight: #AAIronFist Follow-Up and What’s Next

Recently some big news dropped regarding an upcoming Netflix series that bummed some fans out. This news of course was the casting of Finn Jones as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist.

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I previously wrote a post about the big push behind #AAIronFist and getting some more diverse representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by casting an Asian or Asian-American actor in the titular role.

Alas, the #AAIronFist was not meant to be and the show will stay true to the Caucasian character from the comics. So what now? What’s next?

I gotta say I’m still excited for the show. I’m a big fan of Iron Fist especially when he gets to interact with Luke Cage. While I’m bummed we didn’t realize a chance at an Asian lead in a big Marvel property, I take solace in two things.

One the relationship between Danny and Luke still seems to resonate and have importance. In these days where the Black Live Matter movement is pushing for changes and award shows seem to lack diversity (I’m looking at you Oscars), people need to be reminded that race shouldn’t divide us.

These characters appear in the books as more than friends. They are brothers. Despite any difference in their race or history, they have this bond as strong as family. If this is shown in the Netflix series, I will be happy.

The second thing that makes me feel good is that while this casting would have been big for Asian or Asian-American actors it wouldn’t have been as far reaching as possible.

I love the Netflix model but it is not meant for the younger audience. I am a huge fan of Daredevil, but I wouldn’t let my daughters who are 9 and 6 watch it. I couldn’t let them watch Jessica Jones and I’m sure the Luke Cage and Iron Fist series will be the same. If there is an Asian actor for a Marvel property, a movie would have the most universal reach.

As I mentioned, I look forward to this show. I also look forward to opportunities it presents. While Danny won’t be the diversity fans were looking for, we should get Colleen and possibly Lee Wing as important characters. I hope we get a compelling Steel Serpent character, and I personally would love more Madame Gao.

I discovered this character in the early 90’s after having grown up on a healthy diet of Barry Goody’s The Last Dragon. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that the glow is very similar to the Iron Fist. Also on a side note, I regrettably missed an opportunity to have my DVD signed by Taimak at NYCC a couple years back. And I’m still bummed out about it.

While I know the casting wasn’t what everyone wanted. Many sites have pointed out that a group would be upset no matter what decision was made. At this point though, I still love this character and have high hopes for this series. For those of you who were looking for an #AAIronFist, hopefully we get a very diverse cast with this series.

I believe that we shouldn’t give up on it and hopefully the full cast will offer a wide range of diversity. It may not be the victory people were looking for, but it could still be a victory.

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