EXCLUSIVE: “I’m currently in the middle of filming and I need to stay focused on bringing to life this character without judgment, so I decided to remove myself from Twitter for the time being,” Iron Fist star Finn Jones told Deadline exclusively today about why he temporarily deleted his social media presence on Sunday after a debate over diversity. The exchange, digital exit and return come just less than two weeks before the Marvel series launches on Netflix.

Currently filming the team-up series The Defenders for Marvel and Netflix, the Game of Thrones alum dropped off the digital radar for about 18 hours this weekend after getting into an back-and-forth about diversity, representation and why the mystical martial arts character should have been played by an Asian-American.

Here is Jones’ full statement Monday on the matter:

There is a huge benefit to engage and help shape conversations on social media, especially when it comes to giving a voice to social matters. My original intention was to amplify a speech made by Riz Ahmed at the House of Commons. It was a very articulate and important speech on representation that I wholly agreed with. After posting I was inundated by people accusing me of not being allowed to share his voice based on an assumption that our show is going to play into the problems of racial inequality on screen.  I engaged politely, diplomatically and attempted to bridge the divide. I’m currently in the middle of filming and I need to stay focused on bringing to life this character without judgment, so I decided to remove myself from twitter for the time being.

I am very proud of the work everyone has done on this series and I’m excited for people to see how we’ve adapted the story. We have gone to great lengths to represent a diverse cast with an intelligent, socially progressive storyline. I hope people can watch the show before making judgments. In times, as divisive as these, we need to stay unified, compassionate and understanding in our differences.

As the statement says, the whole thing started when Jones posted this on March 5:

A blunt response from the Singapore-born and Australia-based creative director of a fan site dedicated to “creating diversity with popular culture” soon took the wind out of Jones’ sails:

With references to how Iron Fist was a white guy in the original comic and previous Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Jones replied:

Which, among other tweets, was received with this — not probably what Jones was expecting:

Jones then ended the exchange Sunday that apparently challenged his assumptions and soon afterward deleted his Twitter account. In the meantime, while seeing some support, Haron was trolled throughout the rest of the day for making her point. Undoubtedly sick of such abuse, she has since made her Twitter profile private

Jones returned online, diversity exchange and all, just before noon Monday with a link to a musical act and no mention of Sunday’s dust-up. His continued absence could have proved problematic for the highly promoted Iron Fist if it had gone on much longer.

In another recent change of note, the header for Iron Fist’s official Twitter feed currently features co-star and fellow GoT vet Jessica Henwick not Jones.

The full 13-episode first season of Iron Fist debuts on March 17, with Rosario Dawson, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey and Carrie-Anne Moss co-starring and Scott Buck as showrunner. Jones and Henwick join Daredevil‘s Charlie Cox, Jessica Jones‘ Krysten Ritter and Luke Cage‘s Mike Colter as well as Elodie Young’s Elektra in the upcoming The Defenders eight-episode series that will be released later this year.