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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2017-03-20 06:19:43

Cultural Appropriation

I'm irritated by the casting on Netflix's Iron Fist. Marvel has been forcing all sorts of diversity in their comics line, but the one series where a minority replacement of a white male character actually WOULD have made sense is freaking Iron Fist. However, I'm seeing a lot of "well the original character Danny Rand was white so how is this racist" chatter. I'll give it a quick whirl.

Iron Fist is about a mystical kung fu powered hero, but of course the lead is a Caucasian male. (And on top of that, you cast the guy who plays the Knight of Flowers? Really? Does he have any sort of martial arts background at all?) The character was originally created to cash in on the kung fu craze of the '70s. It's the Asian counterpart to "blaxploitation", only in this case, instead of getting badmutha Richard Roundtree as Shaft, all of us are ethnically cleansed on screen in favor of white dudes.

It reminds me of how Bruce Lee was denied the lead for the television show Kung Fu because he was deemed "too Chinese" to play a Chinese man in America. For fuck's sake. Do the people who don't grasp my irritation not see that the original comic concept was cultural appropriation to begin with? And that perpetuating a racist act could possibly also be perceived as racist? For those who roll their eyes at terms like "cultural appropriation", maybe...just maybe you can understand "you own everything already, but took what little I have away from me anyway, and that's pretty fucked up."

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