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'Iron Fist' actress rips comic book writer over racial term

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 3/22/2017 Dan Gunderman

One actress on Netflix’s “Iron Fist” is clearly not content with with the language that was used to describe those of Asian descent.

Jessica Henwick, who stars as Colleen Wing on “Iron Fist,” wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that, “Oriental is a term used to describe rugs, not people.” Finn Jones in Marvel's "Iron Fist" Season 1 on Netflix. - Andy Kropa/Andy Kropa/Invision/AP: Jessica Henwick © Provided by New York Daily News Jessica Henwick

Henwick, 24, is the daughter of a Singaporean-Chinese mother and Zambian-English father. She’s been a cast member on “Game of Thrones” and had a small role in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

This pointed tweet comes after a contentious interview with Inverse in which “Iron Fist” comics co-creator Roy Thomas used “Oriental” as a way to describe and generalize those with Asian backgrounds.

Thomas told the site that those who complained about the casting of Englishman Finn Jones as lead character Danny Rand had too much spare time.

“I have so little patience for some of the feelings that some people have. I mean, I understand where it’s coming from. You know, cultural appropriation, my god,” Thomas said. “It’s just an adventure story. Don’t these people have something better to do than to worry about the fact that Iron Fist isn’t Oriental, or whatever word? I know Oriental isn’t the right word now, either.” Marvel's Iron Fist - PICTURED: Jessica Henwick, Finn Jones, Rosario Dawson © Cara Howe/Netflix Marvel's Iron Fist - PICTURED: Jessica Henwick, Finn Jones, Rosario Dawson

Thomas, 76, was Stan Lee’s first successor as editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics, and also introduced Conan the Barbarian to American comics. This lent itself to the outset of swords and sorcery in comics. He entered the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2011.

He created Iron Fist with artist Gil Kane in 1974, TheWrap points out. But in 2017, when its television counterpart premiered, some viewers denounced the casting as “whitewashed.”

TheWrap notes that Marvel did in fact audition non-white actors for the role of Danny, although he is white in Thomas’ original comics.

Stuntman Lewis Tan nearly got the gig, he told Vulture, but was instead given a smaller, villainous part in Zhou Cheng, for the eighth episode.

Tan’s moment on the show has been received positively by critics.

On the casting of the superhero program, Tan called it a “missed opportunity."

“That’s exactly how I feel about it, word for word. It would’ve been a brave thing to do, for sure, for Marvel...” Tan said. “I think, personally, it would’ve paid off...”

The biggest questions after watching 'Iron Fist':


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