Per Entertainment Weekly, in a Saturday livestream featuring performers from Netflix’s erstwhile Daredevil series, actor Peter Shinkoda alleges Jeph Loeb, then-head of Marvel Television, made the show’s writers drop a story line starring his character, Nobu, because “nobody gives a shit” about Asian characters.
“I’m kind of reluctant to say this, but I’m going to take this moment, but I have to because … because I just have to,” The Man in the High Castle actor says. “I’m not into really protecting certain things anymore. Jeph Loeb told the writers’ room not to write for Nobu and Gao [portrayed by Wai Ching Ho], and this was reiterated many times by many of the writers and showrunners, that nobody cares about Chinese people and Asian people.” The story line, he recalls, involved his character gaining access to a different country under the guise of needing a transplant. Shinkoda says the writers themselves were “very apologetic” about cutting the plotline.
According to The Terror actor, Loeb pointed to the Blade movie trilogy, which includes 1998’s Blade, 2002’s Blade II, and 2004’s Blade: Trinity, as a template for a story in which a Marvel hero, in this case a sword-wielding vampire hunter, kills numerous Asian “bad guys” who don’t require a backstory.
“There were three previous Marvel movies, a trilogy called Blade that was made, where Wesley Snipes kills 200 Asians each movie,” Shinkoda says, recalling Loeb’s message to the writers’ room. “‘Nobody gives a shit, so don’t write about Nobu and Gao, so they were forced to put their storyline down and drop it.” When asked if he felt things would be handled differently in 2020, Shinkoda was optimistic. “I think it would be approached a hell of a lot more delicately,” says the actor. “Because I can see the difference. Two, three, four years difference? Huge.”
Daredevil was subsequently canceled at Netflix after three seasons, while Marvel Television was subsumed into Marvel Studios this past December. Loeb is currently executive producing the upcoming Helstrom and New Warriors.