M. Night Shyamalan was on CBS Early Show promoting/defending his upcoming film “The Last Airbender.” He was intimately involved in the making of his films including writing, directing and producing “The Last Airbender.” In his first children’s film, he had even more control with the special effects. During the interview, Shyamalan discusses some of the criticism about the film’s casting controversy (casting Caucasians in Asian roles). See more at The Last Airbender Movie Boycott (Paramount Pictures vs Asian Americans).
On the casting issue Shyamalan said, “It’s a very small amount of people. … We’re talking about a few thousand people, but I’m saddened because they want them to look at me and be like, ‘It’s fantastic, this Asian guy has the mantle. His name is on the toys. This is fantastic.’ Go get a Happy Meal, you’ll see my name, this is good stuff. I want them to feel proud and excited. I want everyone to feel that way.”
He continued, “But I think there’s a misunderstanding about anime. Anime in and of itself is an art form where the features are ambiguous. When we watched the cartoon, I saw my daughters in it. I was like no doubt these are my daughters in the roles. And every family felt that and that’s the beauty of anime. It’s the most culturally diverse summer movie of all time. That should be its greatest asset is that it’s so culturally diverse. Every nationality is represented with the exception of
We don’t think he made a strong argument for his position on casting. Watch the box office results to see if the boycott worked.
M. Night Shyamalan on CBS Early Show