Finn Jones cast as Iron Fist, people inexplicably take offence to his race

WolfThomas

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P. K. Qu said:
Olympian? I feel like we should just drop the thread and start talking about how awesome Idris Elba is.
I agree. He is freakin' awesome. I have to revisit the wire. And watch all the seasons of Luther I haven't seen. And get around to watching Mandela...

If there is one clear positive to this casting, is imagine the savage outcry (compared to a very mild one that the cited sources raise) if they did go ahead and cast I don't know John Cho or Steven Yeun as Danny Rand.

I remember how nasty the stuff about Heimdall got and his character was just above a bit part.

Edit: In hindsight that sounds like I advocating bowing to that sort of often discriminatory rhetoric. I don't. I just...well yeah don't know how to phrase that better.
 

P. K. Qu'est Que Ce

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WolfThomas said:
P. K. Qu said:
Olympian? I feel like we should just drop the thread and start talking about how awesome Idris Elba is.
I agree. He is freakin' awesome. I have to revisit the wire. And watch all the seasons of Luther I haven't seen. And get around to watching Mandela...

If there is one clear positive to this casting, is imagine the savage outcry (compared to a very mild one that the cited sources raise) if they did go ahead and cast I don't know John Cho or Steven Yeun as Danny Rand.

I remember how nasty the stuff about Heimdall got and his character was just above a bit part.

Edit: In hindsight that sounds like I advocating bowing to that sort of often discriminatory rhetoric. I don't. I just...well yeah don't know how to phrase that better.
I understand what you were driving at, and anyone who appreciates Elba that much has to be virtuous. ;)
 

StatusNil

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Fappy said:
The White Savoir trope is a fairly well documented trope (most prominent in film), so I don't think it really extends to other ethnicities..
Every single thing is a "trope", though. Like this reply is just a case of the "But Everything Is a Trope" Comeback trope. Can we just stop pretending that this over-abused term affords us any valuable insight into anything, rather than just gleefully anticipating cliche formations and empowering charlatans? It is 2016, after all. And even more in some calendars!

I recall breaking my over a decade of exile from Internet forums a few years ago on a quest to discover why Mass Effect 3 sucked so incredibly deeply. It was bizarre how everywhere you had people classifying everything according to the ever-expanding plenitude of categories you'd find on that new-fangled "TV Tropes" website, like it was the final cultural authority of an apparently sharply declining civilization. "Character Z is just a Godzilla Takes The Mjolnir Past The Turnstile In Reverse!", they'd go. "No, u idgiot! He's a Have You Met My Cousin Gary Busey, and the whole plot is a clear example of Hammurabi's Nuclear Triplecross!"

It was fun for five minutes and all, but eventually you'd realize the whole enterprise was just an exercise in breaking everything down into snarkily tagged particles just so you wouldn't have to consider bigger pictures in games of cultural mastery.
 

Lightspeaker

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WolfThomas said:
P. K. Qu said:
Olympian? I feel like we should just drop the thread and start talking about how awesome Idris Elba is.
I agree. He is freakin' awesome. I have to revisit the wire. And watch all the seasons of Luther I haven't seen. And get around to watching Mandela...

Mandela is great. I saw it relatively recently. I've not seen Luther at all though, sadly. Or The Wire. I've got a fairly ridiculous backlog of stuff to watch though. :(

I so badly want to see Idris play James Bond. Dunno if it will happen but I live in hope. Honestly think he's one of the finest actors around today.
 

JimB

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Im Lang said:
JimB said:
Im Lang said:
undeadsuitor said:
Racism might be "ugly" both ways, but Benedict Cumberpatch will never ever be negatively affected by it, no matter how many times I describe him as an unpainted wax sculpture in a warm room.

He will never be typecasted like a person of color would when choosing roles. Not only that, because of Hollywood's rampant whitewashing there isn't a role that literal snowflake couldn't play. He could literally play an Egyptian god before an actual Egyptian would be cast and people would defend him. And he can act till he dies because unlike women, male actors don't have age-based cut-offs.

He benefits from a system that's rigged in his favor to an oppressive degree.

And he's a horrible casting choice for Strange.
Nothing you say passes a simple test. If you replaced Cumberbatch with a black man, and you tried to say the same things about him, you'd be material for the Klan.
No, he'd be material for the asylum, because anyone saying a black actor isn't barred from any role, would be widely defended for being cast in any role specifically due to his race, and would benefit from a tradition of favoring black actors over actors of any race is someone who is either delusional or who has seen fewer than three movies in his life.
I think that most Klan members probably have their fair share of emotional instability, and outright mental illness.
What mental diseases do you think they possess? White supremacy isn't a disease; it's just being an asshole. And in any event, the hypothetical mental disorders suffered by hypothetical members of the Ku Klux Klan don't negate the point that applying undeadsuitor's assertiongs to a black actor would be complete nonsense, not racism against white people.
 

Floppertje

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This seems a little counterproductive. Isn't removing the race aspect the point of trying to eliminate racism? So why do people who oppose racism keep focusing on it and thereby underlining the racial aspect?
Especially in the way the author of that article suggests, changing nothing except for his race about the character wouldn't make it any better. It's still a rich kid from the U.S. going to Asia, learning martial arts from a master there and inexplicably being the best at it (from what I understood from the article. I've never heard of the character before this... apologies if I misunderstood the origins). So just changing his race doesn't make it any more realistic for him to be good at kung fu (or whatever MA it was). In fact, I would argue that changing ONLY his race would itself be racist.

As a sidenote... is there a point where a cultural phenomenon can not be claimed by one culture anymore? Pasta was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo, but it's not considered Chinese. It's hardly even considered specifically Italian anymore. When I eat a baguette I don't think 'wow, that's a tasty piece of French culture right there'.
Given the popularity of martial arts, can we really still say that this kid being talented at it is him 'being a better asian than asians are'? Or have martial arts become so widely known and practiced that it's just a kid being talented at martial arts? It seems to me globalization has kind of resolved this issue for us.
 

Gengisgame

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Lightspeaker said:
No they wouldn't. At all. Unless they're racist.

British refers to a person who was born on (or has changed their nationality to become a citizen of) the island of Great Britain.

English refers to a person who was born in England. Which is a constituent country of the island of Great Britain.

I'm English and British. Idris Elba is also English and British. He was born and raised in Newham in London. By definition he is English. His parents were a Sierra Leonean and a Ghanaian; but that doesn't matter. He was born, raised and started working in London, England, Great Britain. There is literally no other way to categorise his nationality.
If you saw a black person saying they like Idris Elba taking a role because he was black would you justify that or call it racist?
 

Zontar

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Floppertje said:
T
Given the popularity of martial arts, can we really still say that this kid being talented at it is him 'being a better asian than asians are'? Or have martial arts become so widely known and practiced that it's just a kid being talented at martial arts? It seems to me globalization has kind of resolved this issue for us.
To be honest, I can't think of anyone from either of the two elementary schools or the high school I went to who didn't at least spend one semester trying out one form of eastern martial arts or another. While I don't think it's so far as most people of my generation trying it out, it's definitely something that is mainstream.

Hell another thing we can look at is ramen and sushi. Both came to North America during the 80s and are now mainstream dishes, to the point where a dollar bowl of microwaved ramen is available at pretty much every corner store or pharmacy, and has become just as much a staple of the young adult (particularly collage student) diet as macaroni and cheese.
 

Lightspeaker

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Gengisgame said:
Lightspeaker said:
No they wouldn't. At all. Unless they're racist.

British refers to a person who was born on (or has changed their nationality to become a citizen of) the island of Great Britain.

English refers to a person who was born in England. Which is a constituent country of the island of Great Britain.

I'm English and British. Idris Elba is also English and British. He was born and raised in Newham in London. By definition he is English. His parents were a Sierra Leonean and a Ghanaian; but that doesn't matter. He was born, raised and started working in London, England, Great Britain. There is literally no other way to categorise his nationality.
If you saw a black person saying they like Idris Elba taking a role because he was black would you justify that or call it racist?
To quote myself:
I'm not touching the overall topic of this thread with a barge pole. If only because there's several people in here who genuinely worry me with their attitude to other people and I absolutely do not intend to draw their abuse.
Hence I refuse to comment on that. I absolutely am not going to talk about race here; or casting issues associated with race.

The post you quoted is me picking out a comment ignorant of the fact that English is a nationality and has absolutely nothing to do with race. Someone who was born and raised in London is English. Regardless of whether they're white, black or goddamn purple. The only people who insist that colour matters in that issue are racists, because they want to make colour associated with nationality.
 

sumanoskae

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The fundamental point of egalitarian philosophy is that your gender, race, class, sexuality et cetera don't matter. Whenever such things can be ignored they should be ignored.

The author of the article sites his reasoning is to avoid the "White Savoir" trope, but the ideal conclusion to civil rights is not avoiding that trope, it's having the luxury of not taking note of it. I don't want to live in a world where you can't have a savior character who happens to be white without them being a part of the "White Savior" trope.

Remember, the thing that makes racism so unreasonable is that it's all in our heads. Race is not an objective phenomenon that holds sway over us without our collective permission - we permit it's presence; WE give it credibility; WE give it power. The author has made the mistake of treating the trope in question like it's something that is inherent in the work itself, as opposed to something that the audience projects.

Iron Fist, as far as I can tell from my research, is not a story with a racial message. There is nothing within the text itself that suggests the ethnicity of Danial Rand is important. Any perceived racial undertones are the result of the ephemeral zeitgeist of the audience.

Trying to deliberately inject a non-racially minded story with these ideas is a slippery slope. You could make the same argument for Thor, Captain America or Superman if you squint. You could argue that Black Panther is a racist caricature if you wanted to.

If we're now morally obligated to consider every interaction between one race and another in the context of racism if at all possible, then we will be obligated to do so until the end of time. That's the nature of racism; it's all bullshit, all made up. We created it, and we continue to build and create it every with every generation within which we instill it's principals.

If we follow this line of reasoning to it's logical conclusion, the irony is that there will be nothing more important to us about a character than all the factors we claim shouldn't matter. We'll become so paranoid about whether or not the thing we're inspecting is racist that it will be impossible to write a story that ISN'T racially motivated.

At some point, somewhere down the line, if we want to be free of this oppression we're going to have to stop constantly looking over our shoulder; we're going to have to deaden the nerves that our collective fear and guilt over race have rendered so sensitive; we're going to have to accept that, to an untainted eye, a cigar is just a cigar and skin is just skin. And someday, perhaps the color of your skin will truly not matter.

Iron Fist's race doesn't have to be important, and I don't think we should make it important.
 

Gengisgame

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Lightspeaker said:
Gengisgame said:
Lightspeaker said:
No they wouldn't. At all. Unless they're racist.

British refers to a person who was born on (or has changed their nationality to become a citizen of) the island of Great Britain.

English refers to a person who was born in England. Which is a constituent country of the island of Great Britain.

I'm English and British. Idris Elba is also English and British. He was born and raised in Newham in London. By definition he is English. His parents were a Sierra Leonean and a Ghanaian; but that doesn't matter. He was born, raised and started working in London, England, Great Britain. There is literally no other way to categorise his nationality.
If you saw a black person saying they like Idris Elba taking a role because he was black would you justify that or call it racist?
To quote myself:
I'm not touching the overall topic of this thread with a barge pole. If only because there's several people in here who genuinely worry me with their attitude to other people and I absolutely do not intend to draw their abuse.
Hence I refuse to comment on that. I absolutely am not going to talk about race here; or casting issues associated with race.

The post you quoted is me picking out a comment ignorant of the fact that English is a nationality and has absolutely nothing to do with race. Someone who was born and raised in London is English. Regardless of whether they're white, black or goddamn purple. The only people who insist that colour matters in that issue are racists, because they want to make colour associated with nationality.
Sats you won't comment on race but then proceeds to talk about race. Going by your belief that things should be colorblind that means that you do agree that blacks are racist if the say they support someone for being black.

I picked black because some people are ok with blacks doing it and not whites. I on the other hand am ok with people favouring there race in the media if you get more enjoyment out of it. It would be like calling someone a racist because they always pick the same race avatar in a video game.
 

P. K. Qu'est Que Ce

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Gengisgame said:
Lightspeaker said:
Gengisgame said:
Lightspeaker said:
No they wouldn't. At all. Unless they're racist.

British refers to a person who was born on (or has changed their nationality to become a citizen of) the island of Great Britain.

English refers to a person who was born in England. Which is a constituent country of the island of Great Britain.

I'm English and British. Idris Elba is also English and British. He was born and raised in Newham in London. By definition he is English. His parents were a Sierra Leonean and a Ghanaian; but that doesn't matter. He was born, raised and started working in London, England, Great Britain. There is literally no other way to categorise his nationality.
If you saw a black person saying they like Idris Elba taking a role because he was black would you justify that or call it racist?
To quote myself:
I'm not touching the overall topic of this thread with a barge pole. If only because there's several people in here who genuinely worry me with their attitude to other people and I absolutely do not intend to draw their abuse.
Hence I refuse to comment on that. I absolutely am not going to talk about race here; or casting issues associated with race.

The post you quoted is me picking out a comment ignorant of the fact that English is a nationality and has absolutely nothing to do with race. Someone who was born and raised in London is English. Regardless of whether they're white, black or goddamn purple. The only people who insist that colour matters in that issue are racists, because they want to make colour associated with nationality.
Sats you won't comment on race but then proceeds to talk about race. Going by your belief that things should be colorblind that means that you do agree that blacks are racist if the say they support someone for being black.

I picked black because some people are ok with blacks doing it and not whites. I on the other hand am ok with people favouring there race in the media if you get more enjoyment out of it. It would be like calling someone a racist because they always pick the same race avatar in a video game.
He said he didn't want to get sucked into what you're trying to suck him into. Give it up. You're not going to entice someone into a pointless argument they've declared no interest in over some technicality for fucks sake. His point, the one you're ignoring, still has nothing to do with race however much you'd like it to be otherwise.

Idris Elba... British. English. Race can be in addition to that, and he's not disputing that or in any way engaging with that end of the argument. Maybe try to respect that and see what happens.
 

Musou Tensei

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Apr 11, 2007
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Well as someone who is absolutely against changing the race, sexuality or gender of existing characters, I welcome this decision.
If they want an asian super hero, they should create one.
 

JUMBO PALACE

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Yeah, this comment section turned into pretty much what I thought it would.

I have no horse in this race as I don't particularly care about Iron First. I will say though that I really don't see the problem in casting a white dude to play a white character. I'd hope that white dude has the ability and talent to accurately portray a martial arts master though. Does that make me racist? I guess if you wanted to pick apart my statement you could misconstrue that as I was implying an Asian man is more likely to be able to accurately play a martial artist since he's Asian.

Just seems to me that the SJWs on this forum spend an awful lot of time putting words in people's mouths and poking ridiculous holes in others' statements because they're triggered by everything and have to constantly escalate and point fingers.

Racism is real and divirsity is a laudable goal that all societies should strive for, but getting worked up into a fiery passion over the racial injustices of a Marvel Netflix casting isn't doing anything no matter how hard you type.
 

P. K. Qu'est Que Ce

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JUMBO PALACE said:
Yeah, this comment section turned into pretty much what I thought it would.

I have no horse in this race as I don't particularly care about Iron First. I will say though that I really don't see the problem in casting a white dude to play a white character. I'd hope that white dude has the ability and talent to accurately portray a martial arts master though. Does that make me racist? I guess if you wanted to pick apart my statement you could misconstrue that as I was implying an Asian man is more likely to be able to accurately play a martial artist since he's Asian.

Just seems to me that the SJWs on this forum spend an awful lot of time putting words in people's mouths and poking ridiculous holes in others' statements because they're triggered by everything and have to constantly escalate and point fingers.

Racism is real and divirsity is a laudable goal that all societies should strive for, but getting worked up into a fiery passion over the racial injustices of a Marvel Netflix casting isn't doing anything no matter how hard you type.
If they don't focus on Netflix, they might have to consider just how hypocritical it is to be a slacktivist of any variety. It's a very intentional way of thinking about the world, in a symbolic context instead of a literal one. It's not limited to any side of the aisle either, it's just a universal way of derping.
 

Risingblade

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Why not make him an stereotypical Mexican? Big mustache and all. Then we'd have something worth watching.
 

rosac

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Cowabungaa said:
So in short: instead of casting an Asian actor for one of the few Asian Marvel heroes, they got a white actor?
Close, but no cigar.

Of the known Iron fists, the majority are Asian. HOWEVER- Only Danny Rand and Orson Randall were ever followed by the comic books for more than a mini arc, and Danny Rand is the stereotypical whiter than white, blonde haired, rich young man, which sets up the dynamic for his relationship with Luke Cage. He is also treated as an outsider by both the Kun-Lun people when he first arrives, and then again by the people of New York when he returns.

Orson Randall was his (very brief) mentor who was also a white american who found Kun-Lun by his family airship crashing into it.

The other iron fists have one off arcs showing their particular skills, such as Chi-Arrows, Cerebral Chi Powers and Technological powers.

However- the remainder of the cast for Kun-Lun and the Kun-Lun villains (especially Davos and Lei-Kung The Thunderer) need to be correctly cast. They are Asian, no ifs or buts about it. One of the main things driving Davos forward is a hatred of an outsider (Rand's Father, Wendell) having the chance to become the iron fist and not him, and having 2 seperate races square off would emphasise this.
 

Dastardly

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Zontar said:
Think of it as people being upset about a missed opportunity to correct and old whitewashing. Given the mythologies they are drawing from, there is no reason the original shouldn't have been of Asian heritage. It's just that, in that era, little white boys were buying comics, so all the heroes were white dudes... and what few characters of color they had were poorly-disguised stereotypes pretty often. (And the female heroes were pretty much always "male gaze" constructs).

When drawing from these far-less-mainstream characters, Marvel risks little by changing things up. I'd have LOVED a Middle Eastern Dr. Strange, and an Asian Iron Fist seems to just make sense.
 

Zontar

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Dastardly said:
Think of it as people being upset about a missed opportunity to correct and old whitewashing.
But it's not whitewashing if there's nothing being whitewashed. There was no Iron Fist before the original Iron Fist in reality, so by definition it isn't whitewashing.

The problem with an Asian Iron Fist (appart from the fact people would decry it as racist given people will accuse things of being racist over much less these days) is that being white is a part of his character, and a part of his interactions with other characters. His relationship with Luke Cage in Heroes for Hire, his girlfriend and his nemesis all have his being white be an important part of the dynamic that making him Asian could not allow for due to the history of the US.

Unless you want his character depth to be comparable to the shallow end of a kiddy pool his being white is critical to the character just as much as being black is to Luke Cage, being blind is to Daredevil or having PTSD is to Jessica Jones.