"Daredevil" actor Peter Shinkoda says the former head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, once told the show's writers that "nobody cares about Chinese people and Asian people."
Shinkoda, who played Nobu in the series, was speaking on a panel on July 25, part of the virtual #SaveDardevilCon event, alongside fellow "Daredevil" actors Geoffrey Cantor and Tommy Walker.
"I'm kind of reluctant to say this," he began, before saying: "I just have to. I'm not into protecting certain things any more."
"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 showrunners," Shinkoda said of the two Asian characters.
He quoted Loeb as saying: "Nobody cares about Chinese people and Asian people. There were three previous Marvel movies, a trilogy called 'Blade' that was made where Wesley Snipes killed 200 Asians each movie. Nobody gives a s--- so don't write about Nobu and Gao.'"
Shinkoda said that a backstory and more complex storyline for Kobu was then dropped because of Loeb's instruction. He also said several writers apologized to Shinkonda and said their "hands were tied."
Insider has reached out to Marvel Entertainment for comment.
Marvel Television previously came under fire in 2o16 for "whitewashing" fellow Netflix series "Iron Fist," casting white "Game of Thrones" actor Finn Jones in the lead role. Many thought an Asian actor should have been cast.
Cantor and Walker, who played Mitchell and Francis respectively, addressed the "Iron Fist" issue in the same conversation this week.
"If they missed any opportunity to show what they were made of, I thought perhaps it was in the 'Iron Fist' universe," Cantor said. Walker added that he thinks a lot of Marvel's material would "be handled very differently now."
Actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently called out Marvel for its lack of diversity.
Mackie told "Snowpiercer" star Daveed Diggs on Variety's "Actors on Actors" series: "It really bothered me that I've done seven Marvel movies where every producer, every director, every stunt person, every costume designer, every PA, every single person has been white."
Shinkoda played Nobu in nine episodes of the Netflix series. The virtual comic-con is a bid to try and get the show picked up again after the cast and crew were "saddened" that the show was cancelled before its fourth season.
The original deal between Marvel and Netflix stated that for two years afterwards, the show or any of its characters were not allowed to appear in any non-Netflix series or movies, as reported by Variety. That two-year waiting period is almost up, though, as the show was cancelled in late November 2018.