More Anger about Avatar

Avatar

The image above is of Charlee, a fan of the Avatar series, who protested the live-action film’s racially questionable casting choices at an Avatar casting call in Philadelphia today. He writes about his experience in this blog comment.

Apparently part of Paramount’s marketing plan for Avatar is to alienate every Asian-American before the film is released. For example, listen to the film’s dimwitted casting director Deedee Rickets, who recently explained to a Pennsylvania newspaper how they wanted to cast ethnic extras: “We want you to dress in traditional cultural ethnic attire. If you’re Korean, wear a kimono. If you’re from Belgium, wear lederhosen.”

Apparently, nobody informed her that the kimono is not the national dress of Korea, but of Japan. The Angry Asian Man blog is rightfully angry. He writes:

“Right. Koreans, kimonos, funny Asian outfits… they’re all the same. It’s apparent that the people making this movie really don’t care about the kind of movie they’re making, as long as they get to use Asians (and their basket-weaving skills) as props.”

More links to disappointment:

A blog that explains how to protest Paramount and documents the growing chorus of discontent.

Avant Garde Retard reimagines Avatar director M. Night Shyamalan turned white.

Passionate outrage from Maykazine

A blog post by angered Chinese-American who laments “a great opportunity for aspiring young Asian actors that has been taken away.”

Well, Fuck You Too, Hollywood: Not eloquent but an honest sentiment from a fan.

And it’s not just Asians, even the Angry Black Woman is angry: “I’m holding out one hope – that this is some kind of messed-up viral marketing effort, maybe using reverse psychology to get people all riled up about the film so they’ll blog about it, etc. But if this is really the cast they’re planning to go with, I will definitely be boycotting this movie, and urging everyone I know to do the same.”


  • http://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/ hans bacher

    I like the lederhosen. should make some belgians pretty angry. what do we call these people – brainless idiots!

  • tgentry

    I gotta agree with these folks. Not only is it a pretty terrible casting decision, you’re basically alienating the very people you’re making the movie for, fans of the series that know the difference. As much as I would love to see M. Night get back on track, he seems to just find new ways to shoot himself in the foot.

  • Adam

    My kids (3 boys of key demographic age) and I love the show, but we won’t go to this movie.
    There’s still plenty of time to do the right thing, Paramount.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com Emmett Goodman

    I can’t believe this is actually happening. I have to admit I was never a big watcher of the AVATAR series, but even so, this is incomprehensible. Before, whenever an animated series got a live-action treatment, it was likely to lose much of its artistic merit. This time, the producers are being downright illogical. I can’t imagine who in the right mind would think this to be a good marketing plan. If I were involved in this movie, and that is what is going on, I would bow out of it right away.

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Tim Rauch

    That actually IS kinda messed up and hard to believe.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/magicalplatypusint ted

    LEDERHOSEN ARE TRADITIONALLY BAVARIAN!! HOW DARE SHE GET THAT WRONG! WE BELGIANS ARE OUTRAGED AT THE INSENSITIVITY SHOWN BY HOLLYWOOD! ALL OUR NATIONAL AND RACIAL PRIDE, NOT TO MENTION OUR SENSE OF SELF, IS TIED UP IN THIS KID’S CARTOON ADAPTATION!

    Let’s try to get a grip around here. It’s only a movie. It will suck, and then it will be forgotten, so don’t sweat it. There are real things that need our attention.

  • http://karnabal.blogspot.com/ Dennis S.

    I think the bottom line is the producers and the director still believe that the American public will not watch the movie if it looks like a “foreign film”.

    Can you imagine a movie like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragons with caucasians?

    It would probably have made more money but it would never have been the classic that it is now.

  • an asian guy

    Next thing you tell me, they are doing a casting call on the next Maya Angelou property to be made into a movie, except casting it all white. Seriously, that’s how much sense this makes.

    What if Avatar was actually in a world full of luchadors, bullfighters, and Zorro was a character. Would you make all the characters white? No. What if it was in a world full of ancient native american symbols, teepees, buffalos, deerskin clothes, the whole nine yards. Would you cast that all white? No. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

    Hollywood is allowed to do this to asians, historically. They don’t care at all. Look at all the movies that were originally asian that they remake and recast with all white people, the Ring, etc. There was that movie recently, “21″, based on the real-life MIT blackjack team. Well what do you know, that team was actually all asians. Hollywood cast them all as whites and put in a sexy asian girl and made the other asians into side characters or characters who had mental problems. Did you know in the Starship Troopers original novel, the main character was asian? Not if you watch the movie.

    So now they are continuing the casting call. Who wants to bet a million dollars the keep the current white actors and to “make up” for the fact that there’s no minorities, they make all the supporting cast completely ethnic minorities? Then they are still doing exactly the same stunts hollywood has been doing since forever ago, the whites save the world while ethnics sit around on the sidelines. Heck, they may even die to save the lives of the main, white-washed, characters. Magical N-gros anyone? How about magical ch-ks?

  • http://www.brucelewis.com B Lewis

    Lederhosen? In BELGIUM? They don’t speak German there! Someone needs to inform Miss Rickets that Lederhosen are the national costume of BAVARIA, not Belgium!

    I’m not an AVATAR fan myself, but for Pete’s sake…

  • Kaxen

    I now have an urge to hit Deedee Rickets with a brick or something…

    I was kind of trying to be ambivalent, but …god! not working…

    Ugh… I’ve never had much hope for Hollywood and Asia… They can’t even consistently keep people who are supposed to be speaking Chinese using a single dialect. Normal Chinese speakers don’t arbitrarily switch between Mandarin and Cantonese.

  • bob

    the worst thing about making avatar as a live action movie is the same problem that plagues every animated show turned into live action movie. no matter who they cast to play the part the biggest part of an animated character is the voice, no matter how much the actor resembles the character its not going to matter because with out that voice its not going to be that character. all cartoons made into live action suck, they will never work. but they should at least resemble the characters as close as they can, those actors they cast are so pathetic, there so goddamn wrong for the part. this movie is not made for the fans and people who made it worth making into a movie in the first place.

  • Marcus

    Mickey Rooney played an Asian in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” And some day, M. Night Shamalanameysma will make a comprehensible movie worth seeing.

  • tommy

    They came first for the anime characters,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t an anime character…

  • Adrienne Jenkins

    HAHAHA! I remember telling a friend months ago, after watching the end of the Avatar series that “I hope they don’t just pick a bunch of white kids” to play the characters in the movie.”

    Some people don’t think it’s a “big deal”, probably, It’s non-Asian people telling Asian people what they *ought* to be offended by…

    Whether it’s a “big deal” or not, it would sure as heck show a great measure of *respect* to the source material (that owes it’s very existance to Asian culture, philosophy, music, art, food, anime, etc.) to cast kids of Asian descent to play the characters.

    Deedee Rickets! Hahaha! She really shouldn’t have said anything. What an embarassing display of ignorance. Which sadly, probably indicates the amount of care going into this production.

    Hopefully, the objections from the fans will hold every aspect of this production to a higher standard.

  • Steppo

    Wow. I think they’re drunk. Boy are they gonna have quite the hangover in a year.

  • The Bavarian Barbarian

    This kerfuffle is the most ri-goddam-diculous ever. ted, when all this is over and the earth is reduced to cinders, you n me oughtta get an apartment somewhere.

  • http://jgchan.blogspot.com/ Jerry Chan

    Wait a minute- This very well might be M. Night’s DRAMATIC TWIST that comes with all of his movies!

    As far as the race hullabaloo goes… As an Asian male (american born, mind you), I’m not sure I’d want to be connected in ANY way to this project. Okay, so let’s say that there’s a radical change of casting and suddenly we see a talented/unknown Asian actors take the lead roles- it still doesn’t change the fact that this movie is a BAD IDEA and that it’s probably still going to be terrible. Is it a smart move to try to push the race issue when odds are the movie is going to bomb and solidify the idea that Asians aren’t marketable? Probably not.

    So let us all facepalm and let this issue pass on by and wait for a GOOD movie to try to push the race issue in.

    On another note, why the heck do they feel the need to retell the story that’s already been set by the cartoons when I can just watch the cartoons (besides the milking of the franchise)? Can’t they tell a different story with new characters within the same universe and avoid this whole mess altogether?

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    I’m wondering if anyone ever wondered why none of the characters on the show looks Asian or Inuit. I like the show, but it reeks of compromise on this one point.

    And remember that this movie isn’t being directed by the director of “The Sixth Sense”, it’s being directed by the director of “The Happening” and “Lady in the Water”. I wouldn’t count on anything but the worst.

  • Sara

    Maybe I’m just oversensitive, but even before this whole all-Caucasian casting mess came up (which is horrendous and deserves all the negative publicity it’s getting), I was not looking forward to “The Last Airbender.” Not because I don’t like the source material; I think “Avatar” is one of the best animated series to grace my television in years. It’s because live-action adaptations of animated properties nearly always rub me the wrong way. Heck, I’m someone who thinks most superhero movies would be better off animated, even though I do enjoy a lot of the resulting live-action films. It always feels to me like some Hollywood higher-ups are essentially saying that the highest achievement and animated TV show can aspire to is to be remade into a big-budget live action movie. Why can’t anyone just say “Hey, we should make a movie or TV show that’s similar to ‘Avatar’” or “We should make a theatrical animated movie of ‘Avatar’” or better still “We should get the people who worked on ‘Avatar’ to make a completely original animated movie?” Much as the prevailing wisdom in Hollywood seems to be that mainstream audiences won’t turn out to see a movie with an all Asian/Asian-American cast, it also seems to state that no one but kids who like the TV show will turn out for an animated movie based on a TV show (or possibly an animated movie, period). The highest compliment I would be able to pay this film is that it was exactly like the TV show, in which case, why wouldn’t I just sit at home with my DVDs of the TV show and watch those. Of course, I don’t think I’ll be handing out that compliment because it won’t be exactly like the show and I probably won’t go to see it in the first place.

  • http://www.mymedicatedcartoonlife.com Bitter Animator

    I wonder if people would have been perfectly fine with mix-and-match Asians. We know from Memoires Of A Geisha that Hollywood thinks all Asians are the same. Hey, maybe they thought this casting choice was a positive. You know, sure, we have our differences but why can’t people see we’re all white on the inside?

    Whatever dumbass thinking is going on here, I find myself more bothered by examples like Geisha than this for some reason. I guess when a cartoon goes live action I’m fairly dismissive anyway and there’s far more room for interpretation in a fictional world that’s seems like it’s not clearly defined as being one place.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    the movie will suck… don’t get all worried about particular bits like casting of white kids.. the whole thing is going to suck and we all know it.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com richard o’connor

    If people will go to see any of this director’s work after his previous history of smug atrocities, they’ll see anything. The producers are secure in their cynical vision of the movie-going public.

    Then there’s the Catch-22 of protesting. Yes, you should raise your voice against wrong, undoubtably. But I never would have heard about this if not for the complaints (regardless of their merit).

    You would want the producers of this film to be hoisted by their own pittard. To be brought to ruin by their foolish decisions. Unfortunately, the way our world goes their foolish decisions give them publicity, and, ultimately box office.

  • Dick

    Wasn’t going to comment until I read Ted’s post @ 9:31. Ignoring the whitewashing (intended) of ethnics from their culture, however trivial the media, is to suggest that they are not important to that culture. As if the culture and all its traditions sprang up independently of the unworthy people living in it.
    To illustrate the damaging effects of this I suggest anyone interested should go to superherohype.com, look up discussion about the Dragonball Z movie adaption. The lead actors are white and much of the argument revolves around the point that the cartoon characters don’t ‘look’ Asian anyway. These fans are diehard anime fans, even they can’t make a distinction between the use of generic graphic emotional icons and how the Japanese really draw a white face. That is cultural bleaching by people who should know better.

  • fishmorgjp

    Why anybody, anywhere, would let M. Night Shyamalamadingdong direct any more movies (after The Village, Lady in the Water, and The Happening) is a real mystery.

  • Chiskop

    hollywood just wants white people in lead roles. Whether its a movie about black culture e.g “Honey” jessica alba gets the lead role. now they’re messing with asians. Screw hollywood. They cast blacks/asians only in stereotypical roles and to add to that, make it hard for actors either than a few black/asian actors to appear in bigger productions. Yes there are a few black/asian major stars but we know how hollywood works now.

    I remember watching family guy, the dog character turned off a tv show that was mainly cast by black actors. “Hey, i am not turning this off because there are black people in it, i am just tired, i wanna sleep. Can’t i just be tired?”

    Watching TV and movies you’d think planet earth is made up of mainly white people.

    It’s one of those protests that we are starting to hear about now: black people reduced watching movies in quiet protest. Put black actors in it, i might watch your movie. Just like the family guy dog turned off BET.

    The only time hollywood got it right was when they atleast tried. Remember when they used to pair blacks and asians in a movie? Rush Hour etc. there were even talks, “Just put a martial arts star with a black actor/rapper then you have a hit movie” i heard something like this on CNN years ago. Actors had work then, now you have to win an oscar first(Terrence Howard) to get a casting job in IRON MAN playing a stereotypical Black man of the law/police/army.

    I wish all the asians a nice protest. i wish they win. then maybe in the future hook up with black dudes again and make movies and anime ala Samarai Champloo /Afro samurai. We all know that chemistry works and the Wu tang clan is a cultural cultural reference for it.

    The core of this issue is that people need to get used to seeing movies made up of mainly asian/black cast. We don’t need jessica alba.

  • JIP

    It’s like a comment I once read on IMDB concerning the depiction of Egypt in Team America. This Egyptian was outraged how the Americans had portrayed his country. Oblivious to the fact that ALL countries in the movie were stereotypical.
    Just like the people who know kimono’s aren’t Korean are oblivious to the fact Lederhosen aren’t Belgian either. Both are the national dress of their bigger, better known neighbouring countries. Not that big a mistake actually. It’s the fate of all small countries.
    It seems quite stupid though to use white actors for these roles.
    Kind of like making spiderman Japanese ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_XUpZp7mi4 )

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com/ John Paul Cassidy

    Marcus:

    Blake Edwards wanted to cast a Japanese man for the role of Mr. Yunioshi in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, but Paramount wanted Mickey Rooney. The crew liked Rooney, but they still thought casting a Japanese man would’ve been better. (Despite this, it’s still one of my favorite movies.)

  • Belgian

    I’m Belgian and I’m pissed out of my mind! Lederhosen!!?!?!

  • http://dmgermain.blogspot.com David Germain

    Both China and Japan have thriving film industries. I think they should make an Avatar film and try to do everything right that Hollywood is doing wrong.
    Like someone else said here, this movie is going to suck anyway no matter who’s cast in it mostly because Hollywood studios most often pt their worst executives in charge of animated movies and any animated franchises turned into live action. I think petitioning Hollywood would do little good.

  • http://www.mymedicatedcartoonlife.com Bitter Animator

    Is there not a bigger issue that people seem totally incapable of portraying Asians in prominent roles in western cartoons without them being martial arts experts? Whether animals or humans, mention Asia in a pitch and I can be damn sure that the next words that come out of your mouth will be “Kung” and “Fu”.

  • Paul N

    “Mickey Rooney played an Asian in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’”

    No, Mickey Rooney played an Asian stereotype.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I haven’t had much respect for M. Night Shamalamadingdong for a long while. He had one fairly decent flick and then he pounded the idea into the ground.

    This looks like a complete disaster.

  • Guy

    Holy shit, we’re still on about this?

    Why is it people get pissed whenever Hollywood makes a shitty adaptation, as if it’s the first time, every time?

    Can we move on?

  • http://UncleEddiesTheoryCorner Eddie Fitzgerald

    There must be something I’m not getting here. Exactly why is this racist? If I was an actor and someone asked me to audition in traditional Irish clothes (vest, clay pibe , etc.) it wouldn’t even occur to me to suspect that prejudice was involved.

  • http://www.mymedicatedcartoonlife.com Bitter Animator

    A hilarious side effect to this post on whitewashing is the just magnificent mocking of the director’s name – his name sounds different to our name!

    Seems to me that the producers have their finger on the pulse and know just where their audience is at.

  • http://blog.ninapaley.com Nina Paley

    It will suck, and then it will be forgotten, so don’t sweat it.

    Just as virtue is its own (and usually only) reward, crappiness is its own punishment. It is still grossly unfair that big moneyed productions are allowed to make egregious errors like this and still roll in cash while worthy, respectful productions go broke. But Life isn’t fair, and the best way to improve culture is to make good art, not try to fix a broken Hollywood.

  • Dan

    This movie will suck, I love the TV show. I hate all of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, failed concepts!

  • http://www.fpsmagazine.com Tamu

    This outcry is warranted. I’ve never written such a thing before, but I truly mean it: I’m glad my brother died before they announced the casting. This was one of his favourite shows.

    That’s how insulting I find these choices. Avatar was one the brightest spots in children’s animated weekly programming. It also gained a huge viewership of all ages, and families watched and discussed the show together. I have never heard anyone ask, “Where are all the white people?” and I have also heard expressions of interest and relief that more than one type of story can be told, and many other types of characters can be used to tell them.

    Anyway, I’ll just put my dollars elsewhere and ask friends to do the same.

  • Cyber Fox

    This is proof positive the Viacom is anti-everything

    They hate everyone, They love money.. that’s it!

    South Park is part of their anti-everything agenda by dissing everything and everybody of different race, religion and disability and it’s one of their highly popular franchises

    It’s not bad enough that they are sitting on classic animation like Terrytoons and The Alvin Show and telling the fans of these cartoons to f**k off by ignoring their demands and takedowns via copyright claims to YouTube but this is crossing the line way too far!

    I say it’s time to teach these money grubbing idjits a lesson by doing a year long blackout on everything Viacom Don’t watch their channels, don’t buy their products If we make their sales and ratings decline faster than it is right now maybe those money grubbin’ **** will listen to us for a change

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    ommy: Made my day, mucho thanx!

    OK, seriously. Airbender is NOT the history of Japan or China or anything which happened on this very earth. It is just a fantasy animated series which heavily looted asian culture as have lots of other films and series before, no matter where they were made. If you see plundering of a culture as respect, then Airbender was indeed highly respectful.

    Now Hollywood loots an animated series which entirely consists of stolen goods. Although I agree that it would be much more intelligent to have asian-looking actors (just think on how much you save on make-up!), I don’t really care. I have enjoyed Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi and Peter Lorre as Mr Moto. I have seen tens of thousands of actors dressed up as Indians who surely weren’t any Indians, as well as Roman cohorts which weren’t more italian than the Stormtroopers were trained Navy Seals. Come on! It’s Hollywood, it’s about acting as someone else, not being that someone, or even look like him.

    So the real complain about life action remakes of animation should be that none of the actors has ink and paint in his veins, or at least descends directly from the Fleischer or Disney clan?

    I’ve heard actors complain about being always casted for their ethnicity (a turk playing a turk) as well as actors complaining about an “ethnic character” not being casted ethnically correct (a non-turk playing a turk). While I understand the first position (being type casted is annoying) I find the second one plain silly.

    So is there a national committee for the preservation of ethnic percentages in every fictional product, being it film or TV? It is not? Hell, it’s high time to establish one. And if the next episode of CSI isn’t featuring the correct fractions of spanish-speaking norwegian drug dealers in Las Vegas it will be denied the Seal of Approval by aforementioned board.

  • The Obvious

    First off,

    The casting director has displayed apocalyptically ignorant negligence with that announcement. There is no excuse for that.

    Secondly, I’ve been watching Cartoon Brew’s rabid coverage of the “Whitewashing of Avatar” and I can’t believe what a big deal they are making of this. How is casting white people for the leads a case of according to Hoyle “whitewashing”? The show is not making any attempt to accurately portray any race from our reality. It is lame and uninspired to have no other ethnicities in the main cast in this day and age, but Avatar doesn’t make any overt claims of representing races from our world does it?

    The show is created by two white artists who do what Tolkien, Lucas, and a lot of other white creators do: They take our cultures and wrap them around white actors/characters or nebulous/racially-nonspecific looking animated characters.

    You can argue that it is racist, but does that make it “whitewashing”?

    And furthermore, wasn’t Avatar already pillaging world cultures with no attention being paid to where they came from and how they relate in the real world? Are there many fantasy creators who can throw stones in this glass house?

    And Charlee, after looking at multiple images of Aang on google images, he’s as white as the kid in “The Matrix” who says, “There is no spoon”, and I would argue that you have an uphill battle ahead of you if you want to argue based on Aang’s visual aesthetics that he’s anything else.

    Sorry.

  • The Obvious

    “OK, seriously. Airbender is NOT the history of Japan or China or anything which happened on this very earth. It is just a fantasy animated series which heavily looted asian culture as have lots of other films and series before, no matter where they were made. If you see plundering of a culture as respect, then Airbender was indeed highly respectful.”

    Well said.

    I understand that the show has a lot of fans, and of the shows that children, tweens and teens could be watching it is better than most, but the show itself makes no attempt to accurately reflect any culture or ethnicity of any kind. This discussion is about whether Hollywood cares about having diversity in its television and film projects, and, surprise, they don’t.

    “Whitewashing” isn’t just about skin color, and if you want to mount that kind of attack, you could argue that Avatar the animated show “whitewashes” asian culture as a whole.

    I frankly don’t think there is any need to take things that far with this show.

    Enjoy it for what it is and don’t take it so seriously.

    And P.S. When I google-imaged Avatar to make sure the characters were merely a generic cartoon template of various shades, I was forced to reconsider turning on the “safe search” feature in my Google search options.

    Evidently, plenty of people are taking this show WAY too far.

  • Another Animation Fan

    Even though the biggest controversy about this film is the casting (and rightly so), my statement is this: they should have just animated the movie instead of making it into live action. If the show already has great animation, think of what it would look like with a bigger budget and more time. It’s probably true that this live action film will have a large amount of CGI, which is sad because lately I’ve noticed that most CGI in live action films doesn’t look so good. You can usually tell when something is computer animated as opposed to hands on special effects. But CGI effects usually look good within the context of a hand animated world, just look at the CGI in Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Cats Don’t Dance, etc.

    One thing’s for sure, if this was kept as an animated feature, there would be no controversy.

  • http://www.dltad.blogspot.com A.M.Bush

    At Great America they had an Aang costume character with big fake shiny plastic head, it was the scariest thing in the world. At least it’s not that.

  • blank check

    Can we move on? Sure, if we all pitched in we could start up our own “Hollywood”!

  • Anna

    this is the drama trainwreck that just keeps going! Will this be the first movie to completely fail in all ratings before the 1st test was even shot?

  • Dave

    Honestly speaking the show didn’t have GREAT animation, but great storytelling, which was more important.

    I’m quite disgusted that they’re using non-asian characters, but hey this is Hollywood..

  • http://vincemusacchia.blogspot.com Vince Musacchia

    I’m just hoping that Frank Miller is available to write the screenplay.

  • http://www.escapingthetrunk.net Madeline Ashby

    While it’s true that Avatar as a series re-mixed a series of Asian cultures to create what was, essentially, “Fantasy Asia,” it did so with some level of education by keeping a professional calligrapher and fight choreographer on staff. Yes, this was a series conceived by two white men who enjoyed yoga and were inspired by Japanese animation. Yes, there is a complicated relationship between author, text, and culture at play. Yes, white voice actors played Asian parts in the series (Jason Isaacs, Mark Hamill, etc.). But that does not mean that concerned audiences should “move on.” The audiences concerned with a whitewashed Avatar are not seeking to censor any viewpoints, they simply want their own heard. If anything, they want a diversity of opinion — they want a broader range of actors to play a cast which, even in its animated format, was racially diverse.

    The tragedy here is that the story of Avatar: The Last Airbender begins with the genocide of one people and ends with the near-genocide of another. Race was always part of the story. Casting a single race is little better than allowing Fire Lord Ozai’s vision of a post-Comet future to come to pass.

  • http://none Zack Mays

    In 20 or30 years from now will anyone ever rember Avatar The Last Airbender ??? Only time will tell go down as a classic or to be forgotten, only to be rembered by a few !!

  • Tom

    “This outcry is warranted. I’ve never written such a thing before, but I truly mean it: I’m glad my brother died before they announced the casting. This was one of his favourite shows.”

    Jesus Christ! Get some priorities here! “I’m glad my brother DIED before they announced (the cast for a cartoon movie adaptation)”? What. The. F.?

  • RedK

    RE: Tom

    This show meant a lot to a lot of people. I’m actually kinda glad Mako checked out before he had to see his role – Uncle Iroh – go to a white actor in the movie. Because if they’ve cast a white kid as Zuko, he can’t have an Asian uncle.

  • Rheinhard

    Speaking as white 40-year-old long time fan of anime and animation in general, and big devotee of Avatar (which is, I think, the best cartoon on American TV since the original Johnny Quest), I think this casting decision sucks.

    And come on, Korean kimonos??

    Speaking as a 2nd generation descendant of all German immigrants, lederhosen are ours, not the Belgians! Belgiums exists mainly as a venue for us to drive our tanks through!!

  • Mike Caracappa

    Well gee, all the main characters in Kung Fu Panda were played by white people and that worked. So why not?

  • http://www.escapingthetrunk.net Madeline Ashby

    While it’s easy to point to the success of other films whose directors and producers made similar casting decisions (i.e. Kung Fu Panda), the question here isn’t merely “what’s wrong with casting white actors?” it’s “why do we accept the casting of white actors as normal, profitable, and expected?” This isn’t simply a debate about one film, it’s an opportunity to re-examine an entire system that re-enforces ethnic stereotypes in media and business. Customs have changed in entertainment over time — blackface and minstrel shows have been rightfully recognized as offensive, and women now perform the female roles in Shakespeare’s plays (they weren’t allowed to, when he wrote them). There’s no reason to believe that the custom of all-white casting, or re-casting whites in roles originally performed by minorities, shouldn’t change too.

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    ONCE AGAIN,

    ISN’T THIS AN AMERICAN – PRODUCED ANIME SHOW???

    DOES ANYONE ELSE REALIZE THIS???

    I’m not surprised they are casting white folks, this show has no asian origin in the first place! Only in the style it is ripping off.

  • Erik

    I think more belgians should wear lederhosen.

  • Sara

    The show has a lot of asian influences and if you’re really interested in making an exact replica of a TV show, then you would want people of those certain ethnicities. However, it would be pointless to make an exact replica. That is why this is an “adaptation”. As Hollywood tends to do, they are trying to make money and they are trying to not only appeal to fans of the show, but also to children who may have not seen it. I’m not saying that this is a good decision or is by any means morally right, but really who cares? It’s not like one movie defines a culture. If a movie is threatening your cultural and racial identity, then that is pretty ridiculous. Also, this show is kind of built around the appropriation of Asian culture for a white audience. This is just the next step in that chain.
    It seems more odd to me that the Inuit characters in the show are being portrayed by white people…that’s just silly.

    Also, cartoon shows should not be that integral to a person’s life. Get off the couch. Toss the pigskin around.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Congratulations Ms. Rickets, you’ve just invited a maelstrom of cultural incongruity the likes of which you have never seen before.

    Time for a lesson folks.

    The hanbok is the traditional Korean clothing. People wear Hanbok for special events, but can be customized to fit different circumstances. This is the “traditional Korean costume,” if you wish to be so generic.

    This is different from a kimono in more than name alone… the kimono has a belt (or sash), called obi, which not only keeps the dress close to the body, it most importantly retains the form of the kimono itself. Without the obi, the kimono loses its delicate shape. Hanbok do not have belts.

    Also, the colors. Very important. Traditional kimono are very simple, almost always with one or two colors and a simple, linear pattern. Hanbok on the other hand features a variety of colors. It is not unusual for a young adult’s hanbok to feature three or so bright hues, extravagant to the eye.

    Ask a person who has both, and they’ll tell you that the kimono is easier to wear. The hanbok could have a wider skirt, depending on how its fashioned, but the top is ornate and restrictive (especially for women).

    Although the celebration periods may be similar in which both the kimono and the hanbok may be worn; many Koreans have one or two hanbok, and may where them rather frequently. Contrast this with Japan, whose population nowadays wears their kimono in very rare circumstances.

  • http://www.jessica-plummer.com Jessica Plummer

    I’ll start a hollywood with you, blank check! =D

  • http://agoynamedjew.blogspot.com Anson J

    “ONCE AGAIN,
    ISN’T THIS AN AMERICAN – PRODUCED ANIME SHOW???
    DOES ANYONE ELSE REALIZE THIS???
    I’m not surprised they are casting white folks, this show has no asian origin in the first place! Only in the style it is ripping off.”

    All the more reason they SHOULD use non-white folks. This isn’t Europe. The USA was not built on a shared genetic heritage, rather, it is a nation of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. There is a vast resource of genetic diversity to draw from here.

    “The show has a lot of asian influences”

    This is an extreme understatement. The show takes place in a stylized version of ancient Asia.

    “As Hollywood tends to do, they are trying to make money and they are trying to not only appeal to fans of the show, but also to children who may have not seen it. ”

    So what are you saying? Children only want to see white people, not people of color? Only diehard geek fanboy purists want to see Asians play Asians rather than Caucasians playing Asians? By the way, Asian actors want to make money, too–maybe even with a role bigger than “Tourist #6″ or “Thug on the left”. Of course, this is difficult when consistently, throughout history, all the meatiest Asian roles go to white people. But indeed, money is the point of this whole protest. We are trying to convince the producers that movie fans (and certainly children), will have no problem plunking down money for a movie that takes place in ancient Asia which stars Asian people playing Asians rather than white people playing Asians.
    If anything, we’re trying to help them make more money.

    “I’m not saying that this is a good decision or is by any means morally right, but really who cares? It’s not like one movie defines a culture. If a movie is threatening your cultural and racial identity, then that is pretty ridiculous. ”

    Obviously, a lot of people care. Hence the controversy. And it’s not just “one movie.” This is just the latest in a long history of movies where this has happened. “The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu”, “Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen”, “Balls of Fury”, most were protested, all were financial duds, but producers still haven’t gotten the message.

    And no, one movie doesn’t “define” a culture. But it is one nasty, stinky turd in the punchbowl. And just to be clear–it is not ASIAN culture that is threatened with the stinky turd, it’s AMERICAN culture thats being threatened. A country where discriminatory hiring practices can be justified and glossed over under cover of a bogus claim of “artistic license”? Not in my America, baby.

    “Also, this show is kind of built around the appropriation of Asian culture for a white audience. This is just the next step in that chain.”

    Hate to break it to you, but America isn’t a “white” country. And white people aren’t the only people who will be watching the movie inside this country or outside of it.

    “Also, cartoon shows should not be that integral to a person’s life.”

    Many of the people protesting (myself included) are not regular viewers of the show. I for one, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about how faithful the movie is to the cartoon…that’s not the point. America is a land of diversity. I’ll be damned if some film exec can use bogus rhetoric about either “artistic license” or “profitibility” to justify dicriminatory hiring practices. How different is this from running a high-end restaurant and saying “I don’t want to hire greeters and wait staff who are of color because it will disturb my clientele and thus affect my bottom line, oh and by the way, my head chef is Indian. And I can get away with it because it’s my restaurant and I can run it as I please.” Sorry, but America doesn’t play that anymore.

    “Get off the couch. Toss the pigskin around.”

    Don’t debate. Don’t vote. Don’t make waves. Instead, go shopping. Just let it all slide. That’s what made America great.

  • Dock Miles

    Most aspects of this issue have been addressed, seems to me, but there is one very flawed notion still floating around.

    From martial-arts moves to calligraphy to costumes to architecture to its blend of Western cartoon and anime elements, “Avatar” took pains to detail a clearly Asian world, if not an exact historical one.

    The problematic notion reduces this depiction to an homage or appropriation of Asian culture for Western audiences and then claims there is nothing essentially “Asian” about it.

    Leaving aside that the series was a huge international hit, this claim reminds me of one that used to be directed at Motown performers. Because the sounds and songs were consciously designed to appeal to both black and white audiences, because the Motown style aspired more to the Las Vegas stage than the ghetto nightclub, it was supposedly not a true, effective force for bringing black culture into the American mainstream. But it was.

  • Robert DeJoy

    I heard that for Alvin and the Chipmunks movie the producer originally wanted to cast the chipmunk roles to squirrels… they work for peanuts. lol

  • Lindsey

    And I thought they couldn’t get any more offensive and stupid. I was wrong. Have you listened to Jesse McCartney’s most recent interview on his role in the show? You know, the one where he says he plays the “Evil Prince Zuko,” in a movie based on a show that was WICKEDLY popular in Asia and brought to the United States! HA! He then goes on to say that he has been practicing “kung fu” with “ninjas.” Brilliant, so brilliant.

    Everyone in my family are huge fans of the series, but none of us will be seeing the movie. I personally will never watch another Paramount movie again if that is what it takes. They need my money more than I need their horrible movies.

  • http://itcamefromspace.blogspot.com Stone

    I’m only offended that they keep giving crappy Disney Channel actors work.

  • Sara

    I think you really misunderstood what I said Anson..

  • Gerard de Souza

    Maybe the producers think Cauc-Asian is Asian? ;)

  • Bob

    It’s pretty sad when Asian-Americans are forced to cling onto a 2nd rate cash-in like the “Avatar” adaptation to find a platform to get more racial diversity into the theaters. This isn’t an insult, but it does highlight how underrepresented some ethnicities are in the entertainment industry, with Asian-Americans clearly begging for scraps.

  • http://agoynamedjew.blogspot.com Badjoojoo

    Sara, if I’ve misunderstood you or took you out of context I’d like to apologize. But I’ve re-read your post over several times and it’s still not clear to me what I misunderstood. Can you help me out and point out what you mean?

  • Sadelai

    I can see that this Charlie guy is a bit disappointed that he was not cast in the movie. Yes, you are right, Aang ain’t white…The kid cast to play Aang is actually Latino…so is that what you’re next little picture board is going to say? “Aang ain’t white or Mexican…”

  • Sam

    As a big fan of the show, it’s rather insulting to see Paramount casting white actors to play asian inspired characters. I’m also surprised to hear some people don’t find it offensive. What if the story was an africa inspired story where everyone’s black. Would you be ok with them hiring white actors to play african characters? It’s almost like when they wanted to hire an american actors to play Harry Potter. This is Grade A Hollywood BS!! This will probably turn into the Jackie Chan/Jet Li movie “Forbidden Kingdom” where everyone’s asian, except the main character who’s white.

  • Steve Day

    What is the point of doing an adaptation of you are going totally disrespect the source material. All the fans of Avatar I’ve talked to have said they are disappointed by the casting and have lost all enthusiasm for the film. And this is not the USUAL fans booing and hooing. This cuts a lot deeper. I think Nickelodeon is going to have a big failure on its hands. Had M. Night taken a cue from “Slumdog Millionaire” I think this film would build a lot of buzz for itself. Instead it will have an uphill battle convincing fans they are wrong. Fan word of mouth could have helped raise awareness and helped Nickelodeon FINALLY have a hit movie again.

  • http://crowsmack.blogspot.com/ Gibbs Rainock

    I guess I can’t add to anything that has already been said. My wife and I agree that this was one of our favorite shows on television. We’ve watched the whole thing three times and it still stays fresh. I’m to the point now with this movie where I’m going to invest to much time worrying about it. If there was enough outcry would they consider re-casting? I’m not sure. Even still we have another problem in that MNS is directing it. I’m just going to forget about it, and if it comes out and it’s great…then I will be pleasantly surprised. If not…well…at least I still have the cartoon.

  • http://mrdarbyshire.com Michael

    Quite a dumb move by the studios.

    Sounds like this has made a lot of people… Aangry!

  • AngelofWrath

    I love the show and I am one fan who is not unhappy with MNS being the director and im not concerned about the race of the actors. It would be great if it was more multi-cultural but im sure that MNS and the creators of avatar are trying to make smart decisions. If they are then maybe they will notice the backlash from the avatar community and make some changes but regardless of the cast i will still watch the films with interest.

  • Avatar_Mom

    I share so many of the sentiments here that I have little to share that hasn’t already been said. I do however want to thank you so much for the attention you have given to this controversy.

  • Missy

    There will be a protest at The Last Airbender Open Call on February 7th in Philadelphia, from 10AM to 4PM at the Independence Hall Visitor Center.

    Independence Hall Visitor Center
    “Independence Ball Room”
    6th & Market Streets
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    We are asking EVERYONE who is against the all white casting, and racism in HollyWood to please come out and use their voice. News channels will also be out..lets make an impact. It takes ONE person to change the world..it will take a group to change this movie!

  • LOL

    I’m going to laugh when this movie tanks hard. It fails on so many levels and it hasn’t even started filming yet!

  • Bookiba

    Unfortunately this isn’t uncommon in Hollywood. The movie called 21 was actually based on a true story of an Asian. In the movie version, the protagonist is a white male, with an Asian relegated to a member of the team.

  • Mami

    “Koreans wear Kimonos.” <—— WRONG!

    When I first read that, I immediately wanted to thrown a Japanese teapot against that uncultured Director’s head. It’s a HANBOK, you uncultured swine!
    God, this shows that Paramont does NOT understand nor is even familiar with Avatar. Even as a Japanese-American that grew up watching anime as a child (and had to also settle with bastardized versions of ‘Power Rangers’ aka ‘Super Sentai’) I APPROVED of that show because of not only did the creators get the anime-style right, it was familiar in cultural and ethnical aspects!

    This is why I hate Hollywood, and the adaptions that they’re planning continuously. And another reason WHY I stopped going to the movies in recent years. What’s next, a Hollywood-made adaption of Bleach and Naruto??
    :goes to watch her favorite TV shows and movies from Japan, and any other Asian countries:

  • L.H

    Mami: “Anime style right”? I think you should reconsider what you just said. There’s no such thing as an “anime style”. Saying the Japanese all draw a certain way, well, sounds a little racist to me. Avatar didn’t look like this authentic Japanese cartoon called Gegege no Kitaro, so I suppose one of them isn’t “anime style”, now we just have to figure out which one it is.

    I always find it amusing when the protestors end up being more racist than the movie itself.

  • What?

    Huh? Of course anime has a characteristic style. You really can’t tell the difference between anime and other styles of animation? Wow.

  • Mami

    ((Heh, I guess this is what happens when I haven’t written coherently and properly for the last few years.))

    @What? Was that aimed at me? Because if it was, I can tell a stylistic difference between Japan’s art style of Code Geass (CLAMP) to Afro Samurai (Takashi Okazaki) to Paprika (Satoshi Kon) , and Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead/King of the Hill to Don Bluth’s Secret Of Nimh and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis’ styles.

    @L.H- Uh, when did I SAY that the ‘Japanese all draw a certain way’? I was not trying to imply a statement like that, sir or madam. If it seemed that way, or you were the one that read it like that, then sorry.

    When I say ‘anime-style,’ I mean that the people who worked on the show made it look like it DID come straight out of Japan. In comparison to Teen Titans, Totally Spies, MXL, Kappa Mikey, and others that just imitated that style ONLY. And really badly at that. Those shows could be called ‘anime’ also (since anything in Japan, even the rest of the world uses that term as a shortened slang for ‘animation,’), but what discouraged me was the misuse of certain facial expressions and effects (such as the speed lines and sweat drops) that ranged from over the top, to being timed wrong. At least Avatar deserves the title of being ‘Japanese-styled animated’ (Hey look! I didn’t say ‘anime-style!’ Oops.) for looks, plot, and character development which is, similar to how Japan produces THEIR animation. Basically, the OVERALL look of familiarity of what I was use to watching my ‘Japanese cartoons.’
    I say ‘anime-style’ only out of habit, unless I could be annoying and say ‘Japanese-anime-style’ which translates to the long ‘Japanese animation-style.’ Of course, there is the argument of using the term ‘Japanese animation/Japan-animation/Japanimation’ as too broad of a term to use.

    Oh, and by the way, I am more then aware that Tezuka Osamu’s so-called ‘style’ WAS influenced by Walt Disney. And, Gegege no Kitaro (aka Hakaba no Kitaro) by Shigeru Mizuki was based on Japanese folklore and ghost stories of Japan. Avatar, I would consider in the same realm because it bases itself on various Asian and Inuit references, and culture in a respectful way.

    To keep on topic:

    I still won’t support this movie, not only because our (live-action) Katara and Sokka don’t look like our Katara and Sokka (I should add Zuko now here too…), but because I have had ENOUGH of Hollywood, their views, their way, and their movies. I’m bored, I’m tired of the same thing (except for some once-in-a-while-rare gems), I’m just plain not watching. End of story.

    You know WHY us Asians always keep silent, and don’t seem to ‘care’ about how we never raise a ruckus about how we’re depicted, insulted, and shit? Well, in Asian culture, stating our opinions, getting into ‘trouble,’ and being emotionally outraged is considered UNACCEPTABLE, that we get ridiculed and picked-on by our own kind, even if we know it’s WRONG! In turn, we’re easily apologetic and considered more then ‘submissive.’ That’s why we’re forced to just ‘put on a happy face’ and act like anything insulting to us is ‘OKAY’ and we don’t care. When in reality, we’re just hiding the fact that it’s ticking us off, and hurting us inside. That same psychology seems to apply when we’re around people that are different then us.
    I’m happy that at least SOME of the Asians that are posting here, and everywhere else, are brave enough to speak out! I’m really tired of the, ‘Oh LIGHTEN UP’ or ‘Stop your WORRYING’ comments we always get when we raise an issue like this. It’s like we’re dogs, and we’re being smacked for doing some basic trick right.

  • http://redlockfilms.com/filmmaker-rentals/ Donte

    Interesting…righteous outrage…It’s been going on…JK Rowling had to fight for Harry Potter to be totally British… So fight the good fight…
    Bottom line, if Harry Potter were Asian based, it would have been made white if the studios funded it… for business reasons. But white British was acceptable since
    it stayed white and added the ‘exotic’ tu sais quoi…. Ostensibly, it’s nothing as insidious as has been implied in some comments in these blogs. It’s all business, there’s only a dollar in show, three in business. $how Bu$ine$$.

    It’s been proven and an interesting case study made part of my thesis for my undergrad in England. British Film Industry and Hollywood, Symbiotic or Despotic…
    It spoke to the dominance of Hollywood, colonizing every other country’s teens and film industries with it’s movies. Nearly all the successful British films of that time were cast with an American lead and the argument was that this was to ensure viability in the American market, where names put butts in seats. At the time Germany had 8000 theater houses, England about the same, good ol’ America had that in about one state. The way the Brits did it was to at least ensure that the behind-the-camera folk were 80% British.

    Put it this way, films are propaganda, like it or not nationalism seeps in. While watching a movie made from funds from one’s own country, one expects in one’s own country, or the country where one grew up or has allegiance to, one expects to see oneself in a light better than any other country. That mentality doesn’t vanish just because one becomes a filmmaker. I bet you Germany never makes WWII movies showing them getting the crap kicked out of them. Also recall the film “Olympus Inferno?” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090331/ap_en_mo/eu_russia_propaganda_war, This is the most overt type of propaganda where the Kremlin is the largest producer of movies in Russia. White American’s were cast, too, as bumbling cowardly nerds. It’s not so overt in the US but it’s the same, despite the success of CTigerHDragon, the studio will not go ahead and feed their people on another culture’s mythology. Remember how K12 Harrison Ford’s sub movie submerged to the bottom?

    In simpler terms, it’s likened to home-court advantage. For this Avatar movie to go ahead and stay true to form and be cast all Asian, it’ll have to be produced in Asia or Independently by an Asian American house catering to an Asian audience with an eye on the cross-over appeal that we all know is proven. Ya get Ang Lee or John Woo, not Thriller-age-Michael-Jackson-looking Shamy Night! That’s a cop out and an alibi. It aint racist we got an Asian director. It’s kinda funny, I took a break and read some of the angry comments which were not necessarily naive, but really idealistic. “…with a black guy in the white house, one would expect…” Just because BO made it, folks think this country has “arrived.” This country hasn’t even departed, hasn’t packed it’s bags yet. Oh sure we packed one big bag, yes it’s inspirational, but BO aint no damn panacea for all injustices overtly racial or percieved. Personally, I’d rather there weren’t a black face to this country, it’s a fabricated alibi that enables folk to point, we aint racist, we voted a half-white, half white-washed black guy. Yeah, what was the alternative? I tell you this, the BO presidency is a solid white victory and an ethereal inspirational milestone for people of color, nothing more. The country remains 75% Caucasian, this I laud, aint got no problems with that, with 95% control of the industries of power, influence and opulence, that concerns me. Why isn’t the balance of power a microsmic representation of the demographic cross section? Anyways, issue at hand, while white guys can’t be drafted “cast” as basketball or NFL players, you damned well know they would if they could run as fast and jump as high. I’m talking real life now, not movies. What’s the alternative? Don’t get the best athlete, you lose, lose butts in seats, $how bu$ine$$.

    Why does the crowd chant for the white player who may suck the most on a team? Remember Mark Madsen! If there was an all white team in the NBA that kicked butt, you betcha they’d sell out all the damned time. Ratings would go through the roof. It would be catering to the white majority. That would be a dream for an NBA owner. You can’t necessarily call it racism, no. It aint as insidious as implied, it’s just the human need to see yourself better, feed the self worth. It would make great business sense to recruit white guys who can play. The one time we’re happy to see ethnic folk whup white butts is when they’re facing whites from another country – Michael Chang was a darling. Michelle Kwan – Oooh wee! Olympics. The same doesn’t translate in movies, it never will with the current set up. God forbid Asian actors suddenly become higher earners than “real Americans.” But again, it’s not that insidious!

    It’s kinda funny, no one ever asks a white dude where he’s from in Europe. However when Jen Chu or Li Shuofan says I’m from Orange County, they’d be wondering but where originally. Again it aint as insidious as it sounds, it’s just that hyphenated Americans aint perceived as “real.” Asian American, African American, Latin American which ostensibly are descriptive labels also cleverly reminds us that we’re from some place else. Aint nobody ever called white dudes European Americans, have they? They’re from some place else, too. German American, English American, only as a matter of pride do folk call themselves that, to add dimension to themselves, oh, I’m Italian, I’m Irish, I’m Grecian, but on your application forms it aint so. Thus to even have a predominantly Asian movie, while righteous and fair, wouldn’t make business sense because it wouldn’t make sense to the mainstream populace. It’ll be perceived as foreign film even if known Asian Americans were cast. Bottom line, you would expect folk to come out and see a movie regardless of what kind of American was in it. Afterall, we’re all Americans, well, almost all of us. Market research says otherwise. But our perceptions of hyphenated Americans are based on a false reality. The folk who are angry about this have their business sense anesthetized by the racial sense of self-worth, the preeminent of all needs. It’s the ultimate blackface slap but perhaps the angered should raise the funds to make the movie, have preeminent Asian billionaires put up the money. Not the billionaire who’s looking predominantly to make money, but the billionaire first and foremost interested it the overall integrity of the movie. Why? Adhering to the self-worth sense could hurt the movie’s chances for all reasons enumerated above. Thus, said billionaire would, on the face of market research, be prepared to lose some dough, or not make as big a splash in the theaters, which few of us think would happen but what the studios aren’t willing to chance.

    On a personal note, I think Avatar should be entitled, “I’m the dude who’s disguised as a dude playing another race.”

  • http://ccsfan.co.cc dem

    I know, why can’t they be more like the Japanese film industry, they are so diverse….. oh, wait. They aren’t. How about Hong Kong? Or maybe Bollywood. Hmm.

    So when the Japanese remake a film and it is all Japanese people that is okay but the American’s are held to a higher standard? How is that right?

    Plus, you can’t get whiter than Aang is in the tv show. And Katara has blue eyes? You are going to have to look hard for someone that matches that, pretty rare in Asia. And there are no noticeable east Asians so why even talk about the Koreans?

  • Clarification Please

    Will someone please clarify for me why actors should be chosen on the basis of phenotype (the way they look) as opposed to skill? Yes, I agree that the cast of the (live) avatar has been white washed, and its disgusting (I mean come on, Jessie McCartney? he must have bribed them with everything he’s friggin got, eternal servtitude included) but unless cultural knowledge is specifically required, the best job is still going to be done best by the people with the most skill.
    If it came down to it, if I had to cast Jack Sparrow, and it came down to Jackie Chan or Jessie McCartney, I’d choose Jackie Chan, any day. Heck, Sparrow should have been played by Chan in the first place. That would have been awesome! (there were brilliant chinese and korean pirates and sailors that travelled the world too! ever heard of a book called ‘when china discovered europe in 1421′? its great)

    And as to why is doesn’t the american demographic equally represented in who owns industries and holds power? Duh, people with money, (in this case whites) who have had a long time to cultivate it, (morally or not), are going to hold onto it as tight as they friggin can. In general, people are greedy bastards. Sad Truth. But hopefully, this recession can change that a bit. Hopefully.

    In reference to Obama, is he really that white-washed? And how is someone trying for neutrality supposed to act? What laws could he put in place to stop racism that arent already there?

    And if you think me ignorant, then please don’t flame me, explain it to me. The point of these discussions is to create understanding, not scream at each other, isn’t it?

  • a new fan

    this is pathetic! why do you even care? frankly, in my opinion you guys are just as rascist as you claim paramount is. Think about: if you cast actors according to their race; wouldn’t that be completely rascist?

  • a new fan

    this is pathetic! why do you even care? frankly, in my opinion you guys are just as rascist as you claim paramount is. Think about: if you cast actors according to their race; wouldn’t that be completely rascist?

    you should care less what race the actors are, but more on how good and qualified the actors are. You guys somewhat tick me off. Deal with what paramount does.

  • djjuice5

    I loved the original avatar series and had ( and still) have no intrest in seeing this movie. I origianally wasn’t going to comment on this since I felt my opinons were already stated on here but this is so ridiculous i couldn’t resist.

    I fully understand both sides of the arguement on race and diversity on this film. I personally don’t really care what color the actors are as long as they are good actors and were appropiately picked for their roles but with this movie that doesn’t look to be the case. What’s irks me is that these arguements and controversy could’ve been avoided seeing as this was a movie that had no business being live action to being with. I have to ask the guys at Nickelodeon/Paramount if it was really worth it shelling out tons of cash for expensive CG effects and high priced directors and actors who are not at all familiar with the series which they think will be a “big hit” when an all out, well done, full length animated movie with the original creators and experinced writers and animators would’ve been less costly with less hassle. I mean the movie is still a year off and look at the overwhelming negative reaction it already has, remind you of anything (DB Evolution).

    Nick/Paramount really dropped the ball on this one, so many lost opportunities than I care to count. They’ve pissed off the fans already familiar with the series which would’ve told their friends and those people turning around to tell their friends and so on creating the word of mouth factor which makes a film a blockbuster. If Paramount was thinking they were just going to automatically reel in the original fans of the series no matter how they made the movie, well, Fox thought the same thing with DB Evolution and look how that turned out. They pissed away the best chance they had to make a brillant animated film that could easily rival the best from Disney, Pixar or any studio. There’s no excuse for it at all considering the resources they have. Hell Dreamwrks could’ve singely handely revied 2D animation with this movie. Another brillant masterpiece ruined by hollywood and greedy, clueless exectuvies. i think this is a long enough reponse. my rant is done.

  • Johnathan

    To preserve the cultural influences initially painstakingly researched by the creators of Avatar, didn’t Paramount or M. Night consider that since this is a movie based on show consisting primarily of Asian characters, shouldn’t the actors cast have been asian, too? This is just another check against us for why everybody hates white people.

  • ANGRY ASIAN CHICK

    There isnt even one Asian actor right? Yeah we Asians have the right to be pissed off! At least Aang should be asian, he doesnt look Asian? Well does any anime character really look human, not really! But i grew up thinking Aang was Asian and i bet many others did too!Most anime people have white skin and so do many Asian people, were not all yellow like the Simpson you know?!

  • AwesomePossum

    I think they should let the characters’ voices play the parts. The cartoon was made mostly in America, and although there was a lot of help from the Korean overseas team, it’s an American cartoon. All of the firenation is played by Indians, but I don’t hear any outrage about that. Suck it up and get over it people, its no big deal. It’s not an asian cartoon, why would there be asians. Sure it’s style is based off of the asian cartoon style, but the voices, the makers, the directors, and a good portion of the animators are American. This is sad.