Marvel Television Head Didn’t Care About Asian Characters, Daredevil Actor Says

Jeph Loeb told writers to ignore Chinese and Asian people, Peter Shinkoda claims.

Marvel Television Head Didn’t Care About Asian Characters, Daredevil Actor Says

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/Netflix

Peter Shinkoda as Nobu in Daredevil season 2

  • Shinkoda’s character Nobu was prominent on Daredevil season 1
  • Originally, Nobu and Madame Gao were to be developed further
  • Loeb said: ‘Nobody cares about Asian people,’ Shinkoda claims

Jeph Loeb, the executive vice president of the erstwhile Marvel Television, didn't care about Asian representation and told writers of Daredevil — the Netflix-Marvel series led by Charlie Cox — to ignore Chinese and Asian characters, Daredevil actor Peter Shinkoda has claimed. Shinkoda played Nobu Yoshioka, a member of the Hand and Yakuza branch, who was a secondary villain and a physical match for the title hero on Daredevil season 1. His presence was minimised on season 2.

In a live stream for the #SaveDaredevil campaign over the weekend, Shinkoda said: “Jeph Loeb told the writers' room not to write for Nobu and Gao. 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 — where Wesley Snipes kills 200 Asians each movie; nobody gives a s—t, so don't write about Nobu and Gao,' and they were forced to put their storyline down and drop it.”

Jump to the 10:06 mark to hear Shinkoda's comments.

Madame Gao (played by Wai Ching Ho) was another important character, having appeared in Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. Shinkoda said originally, the writers of Daredevil had plans to flesh out the two Asian characters and their dynamic. That would make sense given their ties to the Hand organisation that was a central evil piece in The Defenders. But that never came to fore due to Loeb, according to Shinkoda.

This isn't the only instance of Loeb's racial insensitivity. Gizmodo, which first reported on Shinkoda's comments, noted that Loeb announced Iron Fist season 2 at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con dressed as Daniel-San from The Karate Kid, in full karate gi and a headband. A tone-deaf response to Iron Fist season 1's culture appropriation.

For what it's worth, Marvel Television was folded into Marvel Studios in December last year, with Loeb departing from his position at the helm, leaving Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in control of it all. Marvel Studios has had its own troubles with minority representation, though its efforts — such as Black Panther — have been better received.

Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.


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Further reading: Daredevil, Marvel, Netflix, MCU, Jeph Loeb
Akhil Arora
Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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