It's been nearly two years since Marvel's live-action shows on Netflix got axed, but fans of the hit show Daredevil are still out in force hoping to return the visually impaired, yet abdominally enhanced actor to television. (Damn, you could break an adamantium nail on that stomach.)
It's why on Sunday, the Murdock Flock (as no one calls them yet) held a videoconference called #SaveDaredevilCon. It was on that conference where actor Peter Shinkoda (he played the villainous character Nobu) revealed that Jeph Loeb, former head of Marvel Television and current head of dumb ways to spell "Jeff" held some particularly anti-Asian sentiments.
"I'm kind of reluctant to say this, but I'm going to take it, and I apologize to Tommy and Geoff that I'm going to take this moment, but I have to because ... because I just have to. I'm not really into protecting certain things anymore, but Jeph Loeb told the writers room not to write for Nobu and Gao. And this was reiterated many times by many of the writers and showrunners ... that nobody cares about Chinese people and Asian people. There were three previous Marvel movies, a trilogy called Blade that was made where Wesley Snipes kills 200 Asians each movie because nobody gives a shit, so don't write about Nobu and Gao. So they were forced to put their storyline down and drop it."
Apparently the writers had extensive plans for both Shinkoda's Nobu and Hong Kong actor Wai Ching Ho's Madame Gao, but both storylines were scrapped at Loeb's request.
Jeph Loeb has a chronicled history of tone-deafness when it comes to Asian representation. For example, plenty of fans hoped that Lewis Tan, an Asian-American actor, would be cast as the lead in Iron Fist. Instead, we got blonde-haired, blue-eyed, former Knight of Flowers on Game Of Thrones and white-i-est of white guys, Finn Jones. This isn't an egregious error, as Danny Rand, the protagonist of Iron Fist, is white in the comics. But turning Iron Fist into a story about an Asian-American reclaiming his roots felt like the perfect opportunity to not only increase Asian representation but to enhance the story as well.
Ah, well, a missed opportunity, we guess. Not a big deal, until Loeb went and did this:
Understandably, it was a big fashion fail, but I think if our only takeaway from this story is that "this Jeph Loeb guy sure doesn't like Asians" then we're again at another missed opportunity. Jeph Loeb hasn't been the head of Marvel television for over a year. There's little to be gained in chiding him, but there's a lot to be gained in recognizing that notions like "nobody cares about Chinese people" are still pervasive in Hollywood. So, kudos to Shinkoda for calling it out, at the risk of his own career and showing who's the real hero of this Daredevil story all along.
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Top Image: Netflix