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The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Was casting Iron Fist as caucasian whitewashing and "a missed opportunity?"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2017 Category: TV
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 864 times Debate No: 103696
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




The Netflix Tv series Iron Fist cast Finn Jones- a caucasian to play the Kun'Lun warrior. But a lot of people were disappointed by his casting purely because he is white and they wanted Marvel to reboot Iron Fist as an Asian American and that casting him as white was whitewashing (despite him being white in the comics). I will be arguing that casting Iron Fist as white was not whitewashing and my opponent will be arguing that it IS whitewashing. The first round is acceptance. Good luck to my opponent!


Interesting topic. Thanks to SegBeg for the question.

As my opponent stated, I will be arguing that Iron Fist is whitewashing, and "a missed opportunity".

Although normally it would be apropos to try to establish what "whitewashing" or a "missed opportunity" might be, with sensitive social topics such as these it might be even more interesting to appeal to our commonsense, or moral intuition in our arguments.

I thus defer to my opponent for his initial round of arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


This will be a good debate...

First off. I will start with the origin of Iron Fist. Daniel Rand was the son of Wendell Rand, the CEO of Rand Indeustries. He lived a pampered and privileged life as a child. Danny's father decided to take him, his mother and his business partnet Harole Meachum on a trip to Kun 'Lun (his father previously lived there). But his parents both tragically die during the journey and Danny is found by Kun 'Lun archers who take him to the city. For years, he learned martial arts and at 19, he gains the power of the Iron Fist.

Now in the movie his origin is slighly different: his parents were on a business trip to China/Hong Kong but their plane crashed in the Himalayas. Danny's parents are killed but Danny survives and is found by monks who take him to Kun 'Lun and he learns martial arts, gaining the power of the Iron Fist. Nevertheless, basis of his character remains intact from the comics- a privileged upper class boy being required to live in the harshest conditions under strict rule which in the end, makes him a better person.

In the comics, since, his conception, Danny Rand has always been a caucaisan male. I don't see any reason to change that. It is not "whitewashing" if said character was originally white. Sure, I'd understand the outcry if Danny were originally Aisan in the comics, but he wasn't therefore the controversy was completely unfounded. People say casting Iron Fist as white rather than Asian promotes the "white savior" narraitve, but I don't think this really holds true. If you've seen the TV show, then you can remember at the end of the season, Danny discovers that Kun 'Lun has been destroyed because he abandonned his post- the city he was supposed to protect. That doesn't seem much like a savior to me. Also, telling from Danny's best friend (also from Kun 'Lun), we can assume it is not just Asians (east Asians) who inhabit Kun 'Lun. For all we know, there could also be blacks, Hispanics, etc. Iron Fist's race is somewhat essential to his character as he's supposed to resemble an outsider- indifferent to a culture other than his own and learn from it. Sure Asian Americans might be considered outsiders to Kun 'Lun too, but they will still look like the inhabitants (that is if most or all the inhabitants are east Asian). Danny is not just supposed to be culturally an outsider, but also LOOK like an outsider- and Aisan American just doesn't live up to this.

In short, I don't think Marvel missed an opportunity at all and I'm glad they didn't pander to these people. Sure, the show got negative reviews from critics but most of those reviews were just people whining about Danny being white. Plus, Iron Fist was one of Netflix's most binge watched series and has a 77% approval rating from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes- yes not as high as the other Marvel Netflix shows but we can obviously see that many fans don't mind the series.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by LeMiddleMan 4 years ago
Yes. Most memes I see about Iron Fist and the Defenders is Danny having now actual meaning behind him (like Jessica is moving past abuse), and then calling him a sad rich whiteboy. You can't even enjoy the show, and not care that he is rich or white? It doesn't matter or harm the viewers?
Posted by SegBeg 4 years ago
The show isn't that bad. It's actully my favourite of the Marvel Netflix shows. Sure there were some issues, but it's just one of those series that has become cool to hate.
Posted by GrimlyF 4 years ago
The show is so bad i doubt anyone will notice or care.
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