Peter Shinkoda says Marvel exec claimed 'nobody cares' about Asian people

Peter Shinkoda Image copyright Angela Weiss
Image caption Peter Shinkoda said a storyline about his character's journey to America was dropped

Daredevil actor Peter Shinkoda says his storyline was cut after a Marvel executive said "nobody cares about" Asian characters.

Shinkoda played Nobu in the Marvel Netflix series, which was cancelled at the end of 2018.

But he says his character's "back story was dropped" on orders from former Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb.

"I'm kind of reluctant to say this, but... I'm going to take this moment," Shinkoda said during a virtual talk.

"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 show runners - that nobody cares about Chinese people and Asian people," he alleged.

The Canadian actor, who was taking part in a #SaveDaredevil roundtable discussion with actors from the show, said a storyline about Nobu's journey to America ended up being dropped.

Nobu was part of supervillain organisation The Hand and was helping fellow villain Madame Gao, played by Wai Ching Ho, but neither character's back story was elaborated upon.

"The writers told me they regret it and they were reluctant to do it because they were stoked about including that in the storyline but they were prevented, so I had to concoct this other storyline and rock that material I was given."

Shinkoda says Jeph Loeb pointed to Marvel's Blade trilogy, in which a vampire hunter kills hundreds of Asian characters who have no back story, as an example.

Shinkoda also said neither he nor Wai Ching Ho were invited to the season two premiere.

Radio 1 Newsbeat has contacted Jeph Loeb's representatives for comment.

Loeb has production credits on a number of Marvel TV shows - including Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, which was accused of "appropriating Asian mysticism" when it cast a white man in the lead role.

Iron Fist was the first Marvel show on Netflix to be cancelled - followed by Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the rest of them.

The cancellations came as Netflix began creating more of its own original content, and ahead of Marvel Television becoming part of Marvel Studios, which makes all the Marvel films and is owned by Disney.

A number of TV shows from the Marvel universe are expected to launch soon on Disney's streaming service - and Marvel's first Asian American lead character superhero film was confirmed last year.

As for Daredevil, Shinkoda thinks his storyline could have gone a bit differently had the show been written in 2020 instead of 2015.

"I think it would be approached a hell of a lot more delicately," the actor said.

"Because I can see the difference. Two, three, four years difference? Huge."

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