Controversy has arisen over the past few months over racial bias in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Whitewashed” Casting of “The Last Airbender.” The controversy is about to kick up another notch. Thousands of people have already signed the petition to “Protest the Unethical Casting of “The Last Airbender“. Secret Asian Man got involved with the protest too. Check this comic strip out.
Recently, MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian Americans) has issued an official press release “PARAMOUNT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST ASIAN AMERICAN ACTORS FOR MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ASIAN-BASED TV SERIES” (In 2003, MANAA got the show Bonzai pulled from FOX.)
With all the protest, the Asian American blogs and twitters are lit up with a site racebending.com, an information site for the protest against Paramount Pictures’ upcoming live-action movie THE LAST AIRBENDER. This website intends to provide information about why we should protest and how you can help. Asian Americans have already faced the white washing of casts in 21 and Dragonball Evolution. Hollywood has got to stop this!!
Recently, the racebending.com store on Zazzle got shut down by Viacom, parent company of Paramount Pictures, for copyright infringement. Read more about the whole experience on the blog here. Some of the products have been restored, but the protest only gets louder online. A YouTube channel has now been created to faciliate the ongoing protest here. The protest will not be silenced. If you want to get involved, but don’t know how, go here and you can help the cause.
The Last Airbender Movie Boycott — Intro
18mmw presents the World Premiere of “AVATAR: The RACE BENDER” with ALL NEW material! Check out the show on May 7 and May 10, 2009 in Los Angeles. More details here.
Just love your site, keep them coming!
Thank you for this site. This movie is insulting on sooo many levels. HollyWood needs to be stopped and Shymalan should hang his head in shame.
A person has to ponder what the eventual outcome of all of this will likely be – that said, great views once more on this subject matter – and your site remains a first class supplier of facts.
Another great websiteThanks for the knowledge.
this is sooooooooo frustrating.Its probably cuz the directors INDIAN.not ASIAN.I don’t think they have a toph actor.I could be toph.Im short haired,short, violent,have a hatred for girly,and rebellious.
@awesum Toph wont be introduced until Book 2
@ M. Night Shymalan, im African American and I still believe that you shouldve had more of a diverse cast for this movie.
You couldve made the water nation people of Eskimo/Indian decent. Air nomad NEEDED to be Asian (never really saw a cacaision monk) earth couldve been of African decent and fire could have been of Asian Indian decent, just my opinion.
but hey they had Tom Cruise as the last samurai (no offense to to Tom) but thats insulting.
This is really a damn shame. I fell in love with the animation from day one. When I heard there was going to be a movie I was ecstatic! I told my two small daughters (who also love the animation) that the movie will be out soon and they jumped for joy. I now have to break their little hearts about why we will NOT be seeing it. How dare they do this! When I saw the trailer, with the main characters I was absolutely discussed. Not only will I not take my family to see this movie, I will be buying the bootleg version. Take that M. Night Shymalan. With him being a minority, Im beyond shocked that he would allow this.
First of all, Second Commentator, Bo, should be hung by his balls and get it shot down. If you don’t know about who castes them, then SHUT THE HELL UP. If you don’t respect others, why are the hell are you saying it in public, you know people will hunt you down.
Second of all, I feel very sorry that the characters are “whitewashed” as i am a big FAN of the series. I am an Asian dude. But, we never know what kind of problems that the production team went through/choose in order to bring this franchise, primarily to the majority of North America and Europe (who happen to be Caucasians), therefore they might have chosen with this cast with specific acting rules that they set for the actors. I feel like giving the movie a chance, In fact, the eye structure from anime are so different (and artistic) that it is non existent in this world to choose the right actor/actress. I’m sure you will agree with me on that one.
Thirdly, i don’t know why EVERYONE (i mean EVERYONE) is so concerned on Race, as it should not be given way to grow bigger and create racial issues. I don’t know why EVERYONE (race-benders) are jumping on M. Night Shyamalan who never had racial intention with the production of this movie, being Asian himself, it is impossible to assume that he was part of creating a issue of this situation. People should think about it. Remember the race issue is brought up and fueled by the race-benders, not the movie studios. If the studio was racist, they would never allow M. Night Shyamalan to make movies in Hollywood. Think about it.
Lastly, there are these people (supporting race-benders.com) who do not want to see the movie in the theaters, because it is racist, But they are going to watch it illegally simply because they want to. THIS INTENTION IS ONE OF THE MOST DISGUSTING IDEAS I HAVE READ ON THE INTERNET. It is like saying, “i am not going to see this movie, it is racist, but i will see it” without paying the respect that it deserves. Remember i am Asian, this is what i think, i know that have one of the most honest and fair idea portrayed in this situation. I WILL SEE THIS MOVIE, because I DON”T SEE THE RACISM WITH THESE MAKERS.
Previous Commentator “MOvied” should be HUNG, BURNED, and Then Tortured for his PATHETIC and Utterly Hypocritical attempt to Patronize everyone else’s concerns.
YOU, idiot, are not Asian! If you are, you’re probaly Indian, thus explaining why you have absolutely NO PROBLEM going along with this cultural identity theft. Because you, just like your idol, M. Night Shit-for-brains, are part of the group benefiting from this atrocity. Or you’re just white, plain and simple and don’t give a damn.
The only reason you can smugly brush off the obvious racist habit of Hollywood’s casting decisions is because you’ve never had to be on the cheated end of things.
Everytime another hollywood production studio does this, is a slap in the face to all Asian Americans. You have to be white or otherwise an imbecile if you can’t see the pattern at all, dating all the way back to Bruce Lee’s time:
BRUCE LEE – helped create a show called KUNG FU Legends, story about a traveling Kung Fu monk helping people as he moved from town to town. Right before they started filming, producer screwed him over and placed David Caradine to replace him, a white actor playing an obviously Asian Role.
Fast forward to modern day.
21 – a movie OFFICIALLY endorsed as being based on a book about a real life story of Asian American Poker Player legends. The movie was casted with ALL WHITE Actors…
Now the Last Airbender. Don’t see the same pattern here buddy? Here let me help you, quoted directly from its original Casting Call sheet “Paramount Pictures is accepting auditions for CAUCASIAN or Other-Ethnic-groups (as in to be used for cannon-fodder) actors in the movie”.
So nice try k “movied”… but no you failed miserably.
I don’t know any Asian or Asian-American, regardless who happen to be a fan of the animated series, to actually speak in the alien I-don’t-see-the-racism-here language you have, and much less tries so hard to tell people there is nothing wrong with hollywood.
If some poor aggravated soul ever is on the verge of flipping out and doing another V-tech incident, let it be in the premiers at least…
DAVE CHAPEL said it best;
After seeing Tom Cruise play the role of The Last Samurai,… I can’t wait to see when they make a movie called The Last Negro starring Tom Hanks!
I for one will not watch this movie, DVD not even HBO. Its not right. There are better things to spend money on
Racial will always get people irked when it comes to movies.
Just like in Avatar, and just like in Prince of Persia. :/
The artists of avatar drew everyone alike. So the actors, as long as they play their role well, shouldn’t have an influence on not going to see it or not.
I’m going to support avatar, still going to see the movie, and I would encourage everyone to.
@Jono: White has never been on the short end of things! WHITE HAS NEVER BEEN ON THE SHORT END OF THINGS?! Don’t make me laugh. I’m not even 100% white and I get screwed over because I don’t look hispanic enough to get away with palying the minority cards all non-white people seem to get wet over. Nobody can be white and be proud of their skin color wihout being called racist or a nazi! But all non-white people are allowed too. This is fair? Yeah no.
The movie should have some Asians in it. Tbh. I’d rather have the entire cast be asian so Zuzu’s scar will be noticeable. But have the director bend over backwards to make it racial fair only to have the original fans /like me/ curse at him for destroying my favortie show? No.
Listen, it isn’t fair that things happen this way. Nothing is fair racially. Not for whites, not for blacks, not for asians, not for Indians, not for Native Americans. But don’t boycott a piece of art made in fricken America, not Japan. Not China. Not Korea. Most of us here in good ol American Hollywood are white. It sucks. But its true. Race should not guarantee you a role, because if you are casted for a role justbecause you are the race of a role…you are a horrible actor. Real actors /become/ the things they place. And Prince of Persia was a great movie. I didn’t paly the game, but my friend who did tells me that the prince wasn’t honestly Middle Eastern or Persian I think in the first place. So y’all need to get your facts straight before you whine about your slanted view of equality.
how about a civil war movie where robert e lee is played by an arab?
I think what people want to see is a true translation from small screen to the big screen. Just like how infamous novels become movies. The only ones that are deemed worthy of seeing are ones that are truest to the original or at least try really hard to stay true. Let’s take the Lord of the Rings as a prime example. A tale loved by many and here you have a director who genuinely wanted the story on paper to translate as accurately as possible. Yes some of it dragged but I just eat up every detail and appreciate the authenticity and sensitivity that the director showed.
These Hollywood people don’t seem to realize that these characters are loved and expectations are high to see their characters stay true to themselves as they are depicted in their tv series and books. You can get away with it a little more with novels because they are just literary and a lot of it is translated through our imagination when we read but when you have a tv cartoon series depicting an asian as Aang or Goku…I think the expectation of an asian actor is not the point but would make it more authentic and true to the story. IF you are going to get away from authentic casting then get GOOD ACTORS. I feel as the this was a cop out by Hollywood to the Nth degree. PLEASE HONG KONG STUDIOS REDO THESE MOVIES IN ENGLISH!!!
As an asian Canadian I do feel cheated by Hollywood. At the same token, do we asians really care about what anybody else does?
As a fan of the cartoon I believe M. Night Shyamalan slaughtered Avatar The Last Airbender. It was choppy and insane. None of the story made sense, and I’ve watched the entire series at least three times. What was up with the change of the pronunciation of Ang’s name? There were so many screw ups in the movie it was just awful!!!! I will not watch book 2!!!! M. Night Shyamalan has ruined the live action story for me. Get another director Nickelodeon! He sucks! Please please please give the series to someone else to finish book 2 and 3.
Oh why did he change the nationalities for each nation?! M. Night you made me throw up in my mouth while watching the movie! I almost left the theater after 15 minutes of it.
this cartoon series is not asian, its american, using asian themes, but still was written by frickin’ nickelodeon writers… it is about the 4 elements across their version of our GLOBE, all being in balance, so it makes sense to have multi race actors… it is not a bad movie at all,its just not the cartoon, but seen as a movie in its own right, isnt too bad really.. if you wanted the same thing as the cartoon, then watch the cartoon instead…
I dont get why the casting is such a big deal
even if they did have asian actors, THE MOVIE WOULD STILL BE SH*T
adding to my previous comment ^
if you should boycott this movie for any reason, it should be because it took a great series and turned it to sh*t due to bad directing. If they casted terrible white actors, they probably would have casted asian actors who are just as bad.