Iron Fist and Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones has cancelled his Twitter account following a conversation over the controversy surrounding the actor's casting in the Netflix series.
The entire conflict started on Sunday when Jones took it to Twitter to quote Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed, who shared a link to a talk he shared about the importance of representation in the movie. On Twitter, Jones quoted it, writing, "representation is important. here's why." Of course, some fans caught the irony that Jones is playing a white character who practices martial arts and becomes superior than his Asian counterparts.
When Asyiqin Harson, creative director for Geeks of Color, responded to the tweet, Jones defended himself and the series. In Jones' series of tweets that have been deleted, Jones asks fans not to judge the show until they've actually seen it. Jones calls the show one of the most diverse, saying it "incorporates and celebrates actors from all different backgrounds."
Jones replied saying that he is "for real, etc." with the actor eventually deactivating his Twitter account.
Speaking to Deadline, Jones explained why he left Twitter: "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."
Jones also released the following statement:
I am an Asian-American pop culture enthusiast who longs for greater diversity in all respects, and greater representation of my own culture on screen and in comics, where Asian-Americans are often much too difficult to find. It's a major problem and something I've opined passionately about for years, including on this site.
But I don't want an Asian-American Iron Fist.
Yes, we need more Asian-Americans in live-action superhero fare and pop culture in general. Yes, we need more non-white male lead characters in superhero fare. But making the first Asian lead of a Marvel or DC Comics-based project a character primarily identified for proficiency in martial arts would be a move that could potentially further stereotypes and restrict progress for Asians on screen.
While increased visibility for Asian-Americans is a good thing, the idea that Iron Fist is "the" character to make Asian-American feels like further locking a population into a single perception, where the primary utility of an Asian in action-driven entertainment is to be good at martial arts.
The Iron Fist star has since reactivated his Twitter account, and he has set his Tweets in protected mode.
Marvel's Iron Fist premieres March 17 on Netflix.