Within the last few months, four huge film/television properties have raised the question of Asian representation in Hollywood: The Great Wall, Doctor Strange, Ghost in the Shell, and Iron Fist.
Matt Damon being cast as the lead in The Great Wall was highly criticised by some as having a white saviour narrative; Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Marvel’s Doctor Strange proved controversial as the character is Tibetan in the comics; Scarlett Johansson as The Major caused large issues with fans due to the manga’s Japanese roots.
Netflix and Marvel’s series Iron Fist has caused controversy as many fans believed the character - who is a white American in the comics - should have been an Asian character. British actor Finn Jones ended up taking the role and has been defending his decision ever since.
Marvel comic artist Kris Anka - best known for working on various X-Men series and re-designing Spider-Woman - has ‘redesigned’ Iron Fist as an Asian superhero, inspiring numerous other people to draw their own versions of Danny Rand.
Asian Iron Fist sketch! (Kris Anka redesign) pic.twitter.com/7zqwnNCnTm— Ron Chan (@RonDanChan) 20 March 2017
Quickie Iron Fist to stay loose between pages, but also cuz Kris Anka's design is the look I needed pic.twitter.com/oFi5yRA3mB— Naomi Fran (@No_Nami) 20 March 2017
Iron Fist has been met with widely negative reviews, most of which commented on the show’s slow pace rather than controversial casting. Read The Independent’s view here.