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“These shows are not made for critics, they are first and foremost made for the fans,” he told Metro.
“I also think some of the reviews we saw were seeing the show through a very specific lens,” he added, saying that Marvel fans will enjoy Iron Fist because they “view the show through the lens of just wanting to enjoy a superhero show.”
When Jones referred to critics viewing Iron Fist “through a very specific lens,” he was probably alluding to the many mentions of cultural appropriation in the show. Several reviews highlighted Iron Fist‘s racist subtext, a critique that actually began with Marvel fans themselves. Before Finn Jones was cast, fans campaigned for Netflix to cast an Asian American actor in the lead role to repair the classic character’s outdated and offensive white savior narrative.
This backstory is a helpful reminder of why Jones is wrong to separate “fans” from “critics.” While some of Iron Fist‘s negative reviews came from mainstream outlets like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, many came from geek culture sites like io9 and Polygon, or were written by longtime Marvel fans like our own review at the Daily Dot.
It’s also worth noting that while Iron Fist has an ugly 14 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Marvel’s other live-action Netflix series all have scores of 87 percent or higher.
We’ll find out what general audiences think when Iron Fist comes out on Friday. However, it’s hard to imagine fans of the comics welcoming it with open arms. By most accounts, the show is a slow-moving corporate drama with disappointing action scenes and an overly serious tone. And you can’t blame this feedback on anti-superhero bias, when the same critics gave such positive reviews to Daredevil.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor