Finn Jones, star of Marvel and Netflix’s Iron Fist, keeps blaming outside factors for the poor reviews of his show. He’s already trotted out the old and rotted “this is for the fans not critics” argument, but now he’s added an argument as baffling as it is new: Danny Rand is too much like Trump and that is why people don’t like him. We are dead serious.
Speaking to the RadioTimes, Jones gave this explanation for the negative perception regarding his TV series:
“I think the world has changed a lot since we were filming that television show,” he said. “I’m playing a white American billionaire superhero, at a time when the white American billionaire archetype is public enemy number one, especially in the US.”
On a purely objective level, this is bullshit. No one’s bitching about Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, who are far more representative of the uber-rich, beyond-the-law stereotype than Danny Rand is. And Arrow launched a TV universe on the back of a rich, white, billionaire character. Clearly, Iron Fist’s problems lie elsewhere.
“We filmed the show way before Trump’s election, and I think it’s very interesting to see how that perception, now that Trump’s in power, how it makes it very difficult to root for someone coming from white privilege, when that archetype is public enemy number one.”
Given that the vast majority of American TV and movie entertainment features white leads and yet has not faced an inkling of the backlash or criticism that Iron Fist has received, it’s safe to say that this is nonsense. Are more people critiquing the idea of rich, white men as protagonists? Absolutely, especially in stories like Iron Fist which also incorporate racist tropes in their DNA. But that not “public enemy number one” so much as it is people expressing disappointment that promoting diversity in entertainment is still a battle that needs to be fought every day. (And to say that a clichéd white character archetype is “public enemy number one” is incredibly offensive to people who have actually been targets of things more serious than criticism.)
Regardless of whatever you think of Donald Trump, you cannot lay Iron Fist’s problems at his feet. Criticisms over the show’s casting and the character existed long before Trump was elected; criticisms about the show’s lackluster fight scenes and dull, interminable storytelling have nothing to do with anything other than the show’s lack of quality.
Finn Jones is being so defensive right now, he’ll blame his show’s problems on anything or anybody, other than the people who actually committed them. If there’s any connection at all between Iron Fist and Trump, it’s that.
We’ve reached out to Netflix for comment and will update if we hear back.