actor Peter Shinkoda has claimed his storyline was cut from the Netflix series after an executive at Marvel said ‘nobody cares’ about Asian actors.
The Canadian actor is known for appearing in and , as well as for his role as Nobu Yoshioka in , which began airing in 2015 and was cancelled in 2018 after three seasons.
Shinkoda appeared in nine episodes of the Marvel series between 2015 and 2016, during which time his character played part in a supervillain organisation known as The Hand and helped fellow villain Madame Gao, played by Wai Ching Ho.
Shinkoda opened up about his character during a recent ‘#SaveDaredevil’ roundtable discussion where he appeared with other actors from the show. Though Nobu appeared in a number of episodes, Shinkoda pointed out the backstory of his character was never elaborated upon, and neither was that of Madame Gao.
The actor said a story regarding Nobu’s relationship with Madame Gao had been created for his character, but alleged it was ‘dropped’ on orders from former Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb, the reports.
Commenting on the matter, he said:
I’m kind of reluctant to say this, but… I’m going to take this moment.
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.
Shinkoda said the writers ‘regret’ dropping his backstory, and said they were ‘reluctant to do it because they were stoked about including that in the storyline’, but the executive’s feelings meant they were ‘prevented’ from elaborating on Nobu’s character.
The actor added:
I had to concoct this other storyline and rock that material I was given.
Shinkoda alleged that Loeb had cited Marvel’s trilogy as evidence for his claim that ‘nobody cares’ about Chinese and Asian people, as features a vampire hunter who kills hundreds of Asian characters who have no backstory.
Shinkoda also said neither he nor Wai Ching Ho were invited to the season two premiere of , despite the fact they were still part of the series.
The actor went on to say his character’s storyline may have been told differently if the show had been written in 2020 rather than 2015, explaining:
I think it would be approached a hell of a lot more delicately. Because I can see the difference. Two, three, four years difference? Huge.
Loeb does not appear to have publicly commented on Shinkoda’s claims at the time of writing, July 27.