Celebrity Richard Madden

Finn Jones (Loras) returns to Twitter following Iron Fist debate, Richard Madden travels in space

Finn Jones has had his share of explosive (yes, that was a pun) moments onscreen as Loras Tyrell, but has swapped broadswords for fists of fury in his new Netflix show, Iron Fist, where he plays the titular superhero.

The show has gotten into some hot water for its casting. Jones’ character, Danny Rand, is a white man who learns martial arts in Asia before returning to New York to fight crime. Some have accused Marvel of missing an opportunity to cast an Asian-American actor in the role. (Rand is a white man in the comics, for the record.) Jones entered this debate last week, and the fallout caused him to leave Twitter.

It started when Jones retweeted a speech about representation made by actor and musician Riz Ahmed.

Coming as it did from a man at the center of a representation scandal, this didn’t go down well with everyone. Singapore-born writer Asyiqin Haron, creative director for Geeks of Color, a website devoted to promoting diversity within popular culture, responded:

Jones replied to Haron, and what followed was the most typical of internet arguments — one that ended with no resolution.

As this happened, thousands of others weighed in on the matter, and Jones deactivated his Twitter account shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Haron was subjected to so much abuse from Jones’ fans, including one who told her to “go die,” that she set her Twitter account to private for a time. She has since removed the privacy setting.

On Monday, perhaps mindful of the fact that Iron Fist debuts in just over a week, Jones returned to Twitter, and spoke to Deadline about his decision to temporarily quit.

There is a huge benefit to engage and help shape conversations on social media, especially when it comes to giving a voice to social matters. My original intention was to amplify a speech made by Riz Ahmed at the House of Commons. It was a very articulate and important speech on representation that I wholly agreed with. After posting I was inundated by people accusing me of not being allowed to share his voice based on an assumption that our show is going to play into the problems of racial inequality on screen.  I engaged politely, diplomatically and attempted to bridge the divide. I’m currently in the middle of filming and I need to stay focused on bringing to life this character without judgment, so I decided to remove myself from Twitter for the time being.

I am very proud of the work everyone has done on this series and I’m excited for people to see how we’ve adapted the story. We have gone to great lengths to represent a diverse cast with an intelligent, socially progressive storyline. I hope people can watch the show before making judgments. In times, as divisive as these, we need to stay unified, compassionate and understanding in our differences.

13 Comments

  • Honestly Jones should not even have commented. Dany Rand, the character from the book is white. If they changed the race of a MAIN character there would have been a hue and cry. The person is a troll looking for attention.

  • Anyone who uses “person of color” or “minority” should be automatically disqualified from any debate.

    Why?

    1. everyone is a person of color.
    2. everyone is part of a minority in at least two ways (ethnic and passport nationality).

    • The original white character is problematic for several reasons.

      Finn is a mope and should have kept his mouth shut and his fingers still.

      The bigger crime is that the final product is pure garbage.

  • Yes, because white people have never traveled to Asia to learn martial arts…

    This kind of petty whining is a big reason why we’ve got an even bigger whiner in the White House. Which side can out-whine the other?

  • The actual character is white. So what’s the problem with casting a white person in that role? If the original character had been written as Asian, and then they cast a white personality in that role……well that’s different. I’m over this pc horse poo.
    And no I’m not white.

  • There is a lot of justified outcry when Holliwood typecast or adapt stuff from other media and do it badly. But then there is this case where no one should be getting offended when the original character of a comic was already white. People gets offended nowadays for the most useless reasons.

  • Being of colour, I can say I would be happier if we, of all shades, would be more represented and it is a pity that the industry always gear its produtcts to a more ” standard” audience- standard being mostly white.

    This being said, the original character is a white rich dude. It would not make much sense to change it. It is different than whitewashing a character that was supposed to be native american ( as the last Peter Pan movie did with Rooney Mara) or mixed asian ( like the one the now oscar winner Emma Stone).

    In this sense, I really like what the producers from GoT did, and they did better than GRRM: they aged the characters and they added more colour, especially the supporting cast, but managed to do so in a very organic way. The story did not suffer because Missandei is a grown black womam, or because one of the Sandsnakes is mixed asian.

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