Jones stars as a martial arts-practising superhero in the new Netflix series, but some fans feel an Asian American actor should have been cast.
Finn Jones, the star of Netflix’s upcoming Marvel series Iron Fist, has explained why he temporarily took a break from Twitter.
The former Game Of Thrones actor was criticised by some followers after he shared a link to Riz Ahmed’s recent speech in Parliament about the importance of diversity on TV.
Jones stars in the forthcoming Netflix series as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist, a superhero who practises martial arts and has control of a mystical force known as the Iron Fist. Although Rand is portrayed as Caucasian in the original Marvel comic books, some fans have argued that it would have been more progressive to cast a non-Caucasian actor in the TV series.
One follower replied to Jones by saying: “That’s why everyone wanted an Asian American Iron Fist.”
Another asked Jones whether he was “for real”, prompting a succession of responses from the actor.
Jones has since released a statement to Deadline about the incident, writing: “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.”
He continued: “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,” he added. “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.”
Finn Jones has since returned to Twitter.
Iron Fist launches on Netflix on March 17. Watch the latest trailer here.