The Fringe


Let's talk about Iron Fist


I think most of us have read the memo now, but in case you are one of the three people left on Earth who missed it, here is the TL;DR:

The Verge really do NOT like Netflix' newest TV show called "Iron Fist".

Kwame Opam (@kwameopam) has now written several articles about how the main protagonist should have been casted with an Asian actor. This critique is in-line with a lot of criticism via social media aimed at Marvel and Finn Jones, who is the leading star. Him being a white guy is apparently a big problem. Kramer also thinks that the show is boring (which is a very subjective statement) and confused. But mostly, it's about the missed opportunity at not having an Asian actor in the leading role.

Let's get the subjective assessment out of the way: The show isn't boring. It's not as good as Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but it is more exciting than Luke Cage. Why? Is it because the protagonist is black in Luke Cage? No, it's because Luke this || close to being invincible. That makes the final showdown less exciting, though the vibe throughout Luke Cage is really cool.

And let's look at the ratings from IMDb: Daredevil tops with 8.8, Jessica Jones at 8.2, Iron Fist is at 7.9, Luke Cage is at 7.8 All the shows are highly rated and popular.

So, Finn Jones is too white. I mean, even though the original cartoon superhero Iron Fist is a Caucasian male from New York, the argument is still that he should have been played by an actor of Asian descent. The reasoning behind this seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the story - but everything to do with fighting racism by forcing diversity.

I think the critique against Finn Jones is beginning to sound like racism. He's being picked on, because he's a white guy, playing a white guy! Would have been so much better if that had been an Asian guy! Imagine if that had been reversed - then it would have been called racism.

Then there is the whole discussion about how a white guy (who should have been an Asian guy!) is somehow committing wrongdoing by doing Asian stuff - he speaks Mandarin, masters Asian martial arts, adheres to Asian values and ideas. I think the correct terminology is "cultural appropriation". This also has racist connotations in my opinion. If I acknowledge some positive things from other cultures than my own, I can't use those? No basketball - since when I was a kid, that game was dominated by black players, and I am Caucasian. No Taekwando - I am not from Korea. On the other hand, a lot of cultures should give the use of the Roman alphabet back - that shit was invented by the Romans, and since I'm half Italian, you can just hand it over!

Luckily, the very talented and experienced Afro-American soldiers who coached me and a lot of other white guys to play basketball didn't really care about that "cultural appropriation" discussion. They taught us the game, they played the music, they invited us inside their homes to meet their families (also to give us the opportunity to watch NBA - which we couldn't do on Danish broadcasting TV at the time) etc.

So to Kwame Opam and other journalists at The Verge: Please stop the barrage. We heard it, we've read the memo. And we're still a LOT of people who don't agree with your subjective opinions about Iron Fist - and couldn't care less about some hypothetical missed opportunity with an Asian actor as protagonist.

Oh, and to the readers out there who have been speculating like mad about the underlying message in Kwame Opam's articles about Iron Fist - that having a white guy as protagonist was fitting back in the '70s, but isn't in 2017. That's also incorrect.

Bruce Lee kicked a lot of guys (and a lot of white guys, as well) around in the '70s.