A few months after Marvel and Netflix first announced plans for a live action Iron Fist TV series as part of their Defenders slate --- which also includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the upcoming Luke Cage --- the website Nerds of Color launched a campaign calling for an Asian American actor to be cast in the lead role. We covered that campaign at the time, but interest has surged following the recent appointment of former Dexter writer Scott Buck as Iron Fist showrunner, and a conversation has emerged around the #AAIronFist hashtag on Twitter. Yet, according to one report, Marvel has already considered the fans' appeal for an Asian American Iron Fist and rejected the idea.
Hopefully this is not the end of the conversation, because the conversation itself has exposed an uncomfortable truth; Iron Fist is a troubling concept to sell with a white guy in the lead. Comics fans have debated the pros and cons of turning a white martial artist into an Asian hero, but the debate has largely ignored the reality that Iron Fist's whole origin and conception belong to the past --- if he's a white guy.