Gene Luen Yang’s AIRBENDER boycott explained

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Airbender Comic2 Gene Luen Yangs AIRBENDER boycott explained

The upcoming LAST AIRBENDER movie has gained controversy for casting white actors in the roles associated with Asian characters in the cartoon original. Many folks are boycotting it because of this, including cartoonist Gene Luen Yang.

Comments

  1. As well as the boycott, a red carpet protest is also being planned:
    http://community.livejournal.com/racebending/225372.html

  2. I don’t really want to wade in…but the voice cast for the show was almost exclusively white…I don’t remember any fuss about that.

  3. Gene makes some great points, but I planned to boycott this film before anyone was ever cast. Because M. Night Shyamalan is a hack.

  4. Alex, there is a difference between providing part of a character and embodying them. Voice acting and live-action acting are two different things, and while there may be some arguments to be made about the voice acting in the original series, it doesn’t excuse the whitewashing of the movie.

    I encourage anyone interested in learning about this issue to check out racebending.com, which addresses it quite thoroughly.

  5. Kevin Hynes says:

    This did irk me, also what bothered me was a story I heard that they removed a lot of the humor which made Avatar even more watchable and made me care for the characters.

    If I have a desire to revisit that world I’ll just pop in one of my DVDs from the cartoon. Thank you.

  6. Kevin Hynes says:

    (plus the movie reminds me of the episode with the play the fire nation put on about the show up to that point, now I’m tearbending!)

  7. Christian says:

    I support this.

    After all, I boycotted Daredevil after they inexplicably turned the Kingpin into a black man for no apparent reason.

  8. Nate Horn says:

    I’m sure as Hell not going to watch this movie unless I’m feeling *really* ironic. I saw the Dragonball movie in an ironic mood and laughed my ass off at how insane it was to make Goku a white teen-age boy in high school. The casting decision there really undermined the movie in a way that was almost surprising.

  9. I’m of German heritage and since WW2, Hollywood has done nothing but promote the notion that German=Nazi.

    They made a movie called “The Good German” for God’s sake. That title blatantly implies that the remaining Germans are all bad.

    You don’t see me protesting Inglorious Basterds. Or how about when they changed the terrorists in The Sum of All Fears from Islamic to German for the movie?

    Suck it up, Yang.

  10. Apples and oranges, Scott. You’re talking about stereotyping an ethnicity; Yang is talking about graylisting one.

    How would you feel if Hollywood consistently cast Japanese actors to play Germans? That’s what’s happening here. Wouldn’t that be a bit weird, and maybe a little suspicious?

  11. J.L.B. says:

    The film is going to make money, life goes on, and a boycott for this will accomplish nothing and won’t even be noticed. If the film fails then critics will state M. Night lost his storytelling ability several films ago like they keep on saying. But what will anyone say about movie goers that we don’t already know if the film is highly successful and in turn makes the director successful again?

    Not too many people were pleased with, say, the casting of Kingpin in the Daredevil movie, but people still went and watched the film, it made money, and life went on.

    How many other Hollywood films exist that were based on anime or Hong Kong live action films and featured caucasion actors? So does this movie even matter?

    Find a worthier cause to fight injustice about.

  12. @JLB: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

    And Scott, I’m of German and English heritage, but that doesn’t keep me from recognizing how whitewashing a remarkably diverse cast of characters is a move diametrically opposed to the spirit of the original show.

    At least the actor portraying the *villain* isn’t Caucasian. (HEY, WAITAMINNIT–!)

  13. I’m not even a fan of Avatar, and I was STILL dismayed at this news. It’s basically saying to a certain group that they’re basically not visible. Unless you’ve got a whole cast of Will Smiths, you’ve got no chance at an all-Black team.

    The fact this is coming out at the same time at the “ethnic cleansing” at DC is pretty bad timing too.

    One thing I think that makes Manga continually popular is that they have more black people in their pages than any other comic medium. (Being most populated in Fantasy titles for some reason)

  14. Chris R says:

    “The film is going to make money, life goes on, and a boycott for this will accomplish nothing and won’t even be noticed.”

    And yet the story keeps spreading and more and more people are taking notice. If nothing else it’s great that it has people talking about this stuff rather than assuming it is a lost cause.

  15. Why is this being compared with the black Kinpin? The reason that wasn’t an issue is because Wilson Fisk’s ethnicity has nothing to do with his character or the story it inhabits.
    As Yang points out in his comic, Avatar’s stories and themes are steeped in asian culture.

  16. For the people who’ve mentioned that the voice cast was mostly white — both the late Mako (Uncle Iroh) and Dante Basco (Prince Zuko) are Asian and they both played main characters. Their were many prominent Asian actors featured in smaller but significant roles throughout the series.

    I’m pretty gosh-darn white and it’s disappointing to me that they initially did not cast any Asians in the live-action movie (and then only kind of backpedaled after an outcry). Are there bigger things in life to worry about? Sure. Do I think this matters? Yes.

  17. rhuppertz says:

    Nick Fury?

  18. Chris Chiang says:

    “Suck it up, Yang.”

    I would expect that kind of response from a Nazi. :)

    For the record, I was JOKING and I don’t think Scott Kurtz is a Nazi.

    I’m empathetic to the bad storytelling where Germans are Nazis or White supremicists, as Asians have also been typecast as villains [i.e. Fu Manchu-like criminals, ninjas, tongs, etc.]. Ditto with Italianss mafiaso or Blacks as gang-bangers. That’s an almost universal problem.

    But I think there is a different dynamic where the heroic identity is being stolen. There are few Asian heroic figures and virtually no Asian-American heroic figures on the big screen [not counting Asian foreign films]. And it’s something that’s plagued Asians in Hollywood with the replacement of Bruce Lee with David Carradine in “Kung Fu”.

  19. Matt D says:

    I thought the reasoning was that each nation was a different ethnicity, though now that I think about it, it doesn’t make sense considering the initial casting call and casting predictions, does it?

  20. Christian says:

    @ Doug Slack – I’m annoyed anytime Hollywood changes the race or ethnicity of a character for no apparent reason. It smacks of disrespect to the characters and creators who worked hard on their creations.

    Though Nick Fury is a completely different situation as there is a fairly popularized version of the character in the Source material that is African American.

  21. “How would you feel if Hollywood consistently cast Japanese actors to play Germans? ”

    Does anyone besides me think this would be hilarious?

  22. Army of Dorkness says:

    “controversy for casting white actors in the roles associated with Asian characters in the cartoon original.”

    and the cycle continues. This is a FALSE statement. I don’t know how many times a person has to say it for people to understand that there are NO ASIAN CHARACTERS IN THE STORY!! Not only that, but ASIA ITSELF isn’t even in the show nor any other actual place as far as I remember… except maybe the moon. There is no injustice to boycott; there is only perceived injustice by those already in the habit of looking for it.

    This makes me lose respect for Gene Yang whose work I have enjoyed. Aside from the ignorance of fact he exhibits, people aren’t pretty when they’re being petty.

    It’s fantasy. I may be heavily influenced by Asian culture fantasy, but it’s still fantasy devoid of race. I’m really tired of this crap but I really can’t stand it when people are being blatantly wrong and whiny about it.

  23. “But I think there is a different dynamic where the heroic identity is being stolen. There are few Asian heroic figures and virtually no Asian-American heroic figures on the big screen [not counting Asian foreign films]. And it’s something that’s plagued Asians in Hollywood with the replacement of Bruce Lee with David Carradine in “Kung Fu”.”

    yep, I was gonna mention Bruce as well… if only he had LIVED, damnit!

    it really is the same situation too… studios are afraid that audiences won’t go to see a movie full of Asian lead characters. It’s kind of pathetic how nothing has changed on that front.

    Maybe Shaymalan shoulda just pulled a Bruce Lee and made the thing in Hong Kong.

    though the guy above me makes a valid point, despite what culture the show heavily derives from, I very much doubt the kids watching the show even SAW race due to the syltylized aesthetic and care very little about how the casting for the movie turned out… but then again, if had been all Asians, would they have cared either way and still go see it cause it’s Avatar?

    All’s I can say is I’m glad I’m not the guy with millions of dollars on their shoulders making decisions on something impossible to predict.

  24. @ Army of Dorkness

    You admit that it’s a fantasy world based on Asian cultures. So why does it technically being devoid of race make it okay to cast all the heroes as white? Would you also support a Lord of the Rings movie that cast all the actors as black?

    I’M tired of people using “but it’s faaaantasyyyy there’s nooo Aaaasiiiiaaaa” as an excuse. Sure, there’s no Asia or Asian race, because the whole world is a counterpart to Asia and the races based on subdivisions of Asian cultures. And despite being fantasy, the series drew heavily on authentic Asian cultures, enough so that if it weren’t set in an alternate universe but instead an “undiscovered area” of our own world, everyone would know that it was meant to be somewhere in Asia and that white people would stick out like sore thumbs.

  25. Wraith says:

    As an African American fan of AVATAR, I will also be boycotting this movie over the casting of white actors in the lead roles of this movie.

    And for the record, I was (and still am) against Dunkin as Kingpin and Jackson as Nick Fury.

  26. The Zissou says:

    It looks pretty decent. too bad it’s got this prob. i thought i heard something about them recasting some of the parts, but anyways.

  27. Army of Dorkness says:

    Hyatt says:
    05/26/2010 at 10:46 pm
    @ Army of Dorkness

    “You admit that it’s a fantasy world based on Asian cultures. So why does it technically being devoid of race make it okay to cast all the heroes as white? Would you also support a Lord of the Rings movie that cast all the actors as black?

    I’M tired of people using “but it’s faaaantasyyyy there’s nooo Aaaasiiiiaaaa” as an excuse. Sure, there’s no Asia or Asian race, because the whole world is a counterpart to Asia and the races based on subdivisions of Asian cultures. And despite being fantasy, the series drew heavily on authentic Asian cultures, enough so that if it weren’t set in an alternate universe but instead an “undiscovered area” of our own world, everyone would know that it was meant to be somewhere in Asia and that white people would stick out like sore thumbs.”

    I’m going to respond to this even though it doesn’t merit a response.

    I admit it’s a fantasy show heavily influenced by Asian culture. The way you said it doesn’t sound right to me.

    “So why does it technically being devoid of race make it okay to cast all the heroes as white?”

    THAT’S *EXACTLY!* why. Also, all the heroes are not white. Indians are caucasian but they are NOT white. A Maori from Australia is NOT WHITE. A Persian is NOT white. And I’m not convinced Noah Ringer is 100% white either because he doesn’t look it. The whitest people seem to be Katara and Sokka, and that does suck because I’d be happy to see Asian actors in those roles or ANY of the other roles. But wishing it to be so doesn’t mean it HAS to be that way or even SHOULD be that way because as evidenced above there IS NO ASIA. Maybe they did the best they could with what was available. At least they got rid of Jesse McCartney.

    “Would you also support a Lord of the Rings movie that cast all the actors as black?”

    Sure, why not. It has been a long time since I read the books so I’m not going to fight you on this one…aside from the fact that Alan Lee and other artists drew many of those characters and much of that world according to their descriptions and there wasn’t a black person to be seen. So, I don’t think Lord of the Rings should have an all black cast, but I have no evidence to support a stance against such casting at this time.

    “I’M tired of people using “but it’s faaaantasyyyy there’s nooo Aaaasiiiiaaaa” as an excuse.”

    It’s not an excuse. No one needs to be excused. It’s a fact, and there are those that refuse to accept it. I can’t help you with your inability to accept obvious facts as facts.

    “Sure, there’s no Asia or Asian race,”

    See, even when you state the facts you can’t accept the facts… I think there’s some psychological diagnosis for that.

    “white people would stick out like sore thumbs”

    you’re forgetting the swampbenders. Yes, they’re obviously supposed to be redneck southerners, but I really don’t care if they actually cast redneck southerners in those roles.

    Just because a person supports the casting of the film doesn’t mean they’re *against* the casting of Asians in those same roles. I am certainly not against it. Come to think of it, Sammo Hung would’ve made a good Iroh–he has the build for it. (Lest we forget that he–an Asian male–toplined a major network TV show.) I don’t particularly like the casting of Sokka and Katara on the surface and I HATED the casting of Zuko before Dev Patel was brought in. I would have enjoyed seeing more Asian actors in this film, but I’m not going to join or support the ridiculous and unjustified outcry of such a silly boycott.

    This is absolutely NOTHING like when Bruce Lee’s idea and show were taken away from him.

    I can understand the disappointment. I can understand the voting with the wallet despite the shoddy reasoning behind it. What I can’t understand and what I keep trying to fight is the animosity as if the production company did something wrong or the ignorance of fact that so many are guilty of. It’s misdirected hostility and grasping at straws to get the spotlight in order to shine it on a semi-related issue which is the plight of the asian-american actor. I just don’t think this is the film for that sort of maneuver. If they cast a white guy in an American Born Chinese film, I’d be on Mr. Yang’s side in a heartbeat, but that’s not a “neutral” character/role like the ones in Last Airbender.

    So…. as it was already so eloquently put, “Suck it up.”

  28. MRCAB says:

    Well, I’m going to be boycotting the movie and doing everything I can to spread the word. As for that comment up there about the “original voice cast,” voice acting doesn’t matter.(as long as it’s respectable, that is)

    I like the third from the last panel. People tend to use that as a straw man argument. “There are worse things in the world than this movie casting, so why not focus on those!” I guess I should stop wiping my ass and taking showers then. The little things don’t count, huh?

    Boycott!!

  29. Chris Chiang says:

    @Army of Dorkness – you are correct is stating that “…ASIA ITSELF isn’t even in the show nor any other actual place as far as I remember…except maybe the moon!” but that’s it.

    Otherwise you are wrong. Please be advised that much of the following is a cut-and-paste of what I previously wrote on another site…

    Just as “The Lord of Rings” world is based and influence by Celtic, Norse, Germanic and other European mythologies and culture, everything in the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fantasy world is based upon some aspect of Asian culture, from the direct use of Chinese characters as the language of the world to the use of various Asian martial arts to the clothing. The creators of the cartoon acknowledge this.

    There are no knights or castles, vikings or long boats, centurions or togas, or anything else to suggest that the characters are Caucasian [or European in origin]. Actually there is one element that I can think of and kudos to you if you think of it.

    So when everything in a fantasy world is “Asian”, it would be only logical for the characters to be Asian. It would be counter-intuitive to think otherwise. Likewise, it was logical for characters in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy to be white and European.

    As for the characters “looking” Asian or white, it’s because of the conventions of anime where characters are drawn in race-neutral generic terms. Even though produced in America [though animated in South Korea], the creators admit this is an anime-inspired cartoon. And because it is set in a “FANTASY”, a normal trait like eye color doesn’t matter because eye color is determined by which nation/tribe/element the character is associated with. Earth-benders and people of the Earth Kingdom have green eyes. The people of the Water Tribes have blue-eyes.

    Plus there are no freckled redheads, blue-eyed blondes, or porcelain-skinned people to suggest European fantasy world. Or Africans to suggest a multicultural diverse fantasy world. It’s an Asian-based fantasy world.

    And yes, the creators of the property are white but the world they created is all Asian. Similarly, I wouldn’t think the characters in “Record of the Lodoss War” were Asian because the creator is Japanese and because it was a fantasy world based upon D&D and other RPGs featuring knights, elves, dwarves, and other European lore.

    But let’s take the cartoon and eliminate all the elements are definitively Asian [i.e. the Chinese characters, the various martial arts, the clothing, the architecture, etc., etc.] and let’s eliminate all the elimates that are Caucasian or European [not including the English language] and let’s see what remains.

    Army of Dorkness writes, “It’s fantasy. I may be heavily influenced by Asian culture fantasy, but it’s still fantasy devoid of race. I’m really tired of this crap but I really can’t stand it when people are being blatantly wrong and whiny about it.”

    Let’s parse that statment…

    *”It’s fantasy…” – Agree.

    *”…May be heavily influenced by Asian culture fantasy…” – That’s wrong. It is definitively influenced by Asian culture as admited by statements by the creators [see the Wikipedia entry or just google it]. And again, see my above arguements about eliminating definitely Asian and Caucasian/European elements in the story.

    *”…but it’s still fantasy devoid of race…” – As much I’d like that to be true, just stating it doesn’t make it true. Neither DiMartino or Konietzko [the creators of the cartoon] have stated they were trying to create a race neutral world. Please see my above arguements that it is Asian fantasty world vs Euro-centric or multicultural.

    Also based upon the previous conventions of fictional fantasy worlds prior to “Avatar: The Last Airbender” [as opposed to sci-fi futuristic worlds], DiMartino and Konietzko have done nothing to suggest that their fictional world and thus characters are NOT Asian.

    *”I’m really tired of this crap but I really can’t stand it when people are being blatantly wrong and whiny about it.” – I’m neither tired or intolerant of your crap, “blatant wrongness”, or whininess. It’s a fact of life which I step avoid and step around like dog s–t on the sidewalk, but when I see an owner [you, Army of Dorkness] leave it there, I have to point it out.

    But seriously, you have arguments why the characters aren’t Asian [which I believe and proven are worng], but please argue the opposite and prove that the characters should be Caucasian or white.

    Let’s assume the reverse – WHAT SAYS THESE ARE CAUCASIAN CHARACTERS IN THE STORY??…..Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.

  30. Do the actual creators have anything to say on this topic?

  31. re: None of the lead Avatar voice actors were Asian.

    By that logic, it should be OK to cast a white woman in her 40’s to play Bart Simpson in a live-action “Simpsons” movie (or, really, any number of kids in cartoons). Or to cast Frank Welker to play a live-action monkey.

    Voice director extraordinaire Andrea Romano has gone on the record as saying that she tries to cast ethnic actors for ethnic roles wherever she can, and has implored acting groups for non-white actors to go into voice acting because they are needed. They ran out of Asian actors when they were doing Avatar. Literally every Asian actor who did voice-over work was cast in the show at one point or another. It’s not that they didn’t try, which is a whole lot more than I can say for the live-action movie.

    re: There’s no Asia in the Avatar world.

    It baffles me that someone can watch a show that has Asian writing, Asian clothing, Asian architecture, Asian philosophy, Asian artwork, Asian names, and more than a few characters with Asian features, and yet still conclude that the characters could be white because “there’s no Asia in the Avatar universe.” It’s a point that’s semantically correct, but only in the strictest, most anal-retentive, completely miss-the-forest-for-the-trees sense, and that splits the hair so fine that you end up with absolutely nothing afterwards.

    I’m also baffled that in their attempt to cast some non-white actors in prominent roles, nobody at Paramount or in the production noticed the problematic overtones of a bunch of white kids saving the world from hordes of evil brown people, even if two of those brown people are the most interesting characters in the series.

    re: what do the “Avatar” creators say?

    They haven’t said anything publicly about it. The most that I can say is that they were quite vocal about supporting M. Night Shyamalan when the movie was announced and seemed to stop talking about the live-action movie after the casting was announced. There could be lots of legitimate reasons for that, though.

    Not going to see the movie, although if the trailer were populated by not-white actors in the leading roles, I’d probably be forcing myself to go on general principle because it still doesn’t look much like the Avatar I know and love. I’m just happy that there’s a new Avatar animated project in the works driven by Mike & Bryan. Hopefully it won’t be scuttled if the movie flops.

  32. Appropriating Asian Culture and filtering it is not the same as limiting the argument to finding “misdirected hostility” in the casting. It is just a loophole to grab all the cool Asian stuff: the bells and whistles, repackage the culture, hell even if you remove the ethnicity of the cast – you’re not fooling anyone who respects the source enough to feel outrage over it.

    This is the Old Hollywood posing as the New Hollywood.

    You know like they took all Bruce Lee’s ideas for KUNG FU but removed the Asian LEAD for TV.

    To support the argument with the swampbenders being “rednecks” reveals the true problem in the discussion.

    If one can’t differentiate between the “rednecks’ and the SELLING point and backbone of the whole series: which is Asian myth and culture, then you will get a guy who will post online and say “Suck it Up” like he won a race or something.

    “Once the (cultural) opening of China… you know, it will bring more understanding, more things that are like, Hey!… like different you know? And maybe in the contrast or comparison – some NEW thing might grow… ” Bruce Lee, Pierre Berton Interview 1971

    Something NEW but yet OLD as well little dragon.

  33. @MRCAB

    “As for that comment up there about the “original voice cast,” voice acting doesn’t matter.(as long as it’s respectable, that is)”

    Would you tune into an episode of the Boondocks knowing if the entire voice cast were white?

    I don’t think that would work so well.

    ~

    Coat

  34. Are any Iranians Protesting Disney’s Prince of Persia?

  35. Cary: The African-American title character of THE CLEVELAND SHOW is voiced by Mike Henry, a Caucasian-American…

    As for M. Knight’s “race bending” version of AVATAR: The Last Airbender— I am such a fan of Konietko and DiMartino’s animated series that I’m willing to watch it on the large screen (though at matinee price). Not really a fan of M. Knight, as his last couple of films were ongoing cinematic proof of the “Peter Principle”… but I want to see Appa and Momo brought to life. And to see how much of the martial arts choreography WITHOUT the involvement of the original series’ Sifu Kisu will turn out.

    Honestly, I’m expecting the worst. But I know that the original, as-intended-by-their-creators versions of Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko and Iroh are there in the dvds of the Animated Series for me to watch again and again. Like Chandler’s novels, they’ll
    ALWAYS be there, movie adaptations or not.

    And yes: that means a Tibetan Monk-ish Aang,
    Inuit/Sami Katara and Sokka, a Meijian Fire Nation and Classical Chinese/Korean Earth Nation. Which I know will be tough to ‘translate’ in a film version with Cauc-Asians and East-Asians but NO “Asians” in the major roles…

  36. Erm… make that West-Asians above.

    ed

  37. Mark Coale says:

    One presumes we will also see fanboy outrage once we get closer to the release of the THOR movie, with the multi-ethnic cast of Asgardians,

  38. Touche’ Ed. I totally forgot about Mike Henry.

    I stand corrected.

    ~

    Coat

  39. The main characters in the original cartoon don’t look asian. The lead is very white with no asian features, his two friends are some kind of light brown with no asian features. None of the three main characters look even remotely asian.

  40. Some people have said the anime style is race neutral. But this cartoon isn’t race neutral, it’s more like racially confused. And it seems natural to me that such a racially confused cartoon would spawn a live action movie that upsets people so much. Because people can look past it in the drawings, but with real human actors it’s a whole different thing.

  41. Daisuke says:

    Down with The Last Airbender. I am in full support of a boycott, but does young America even know what that is? “Huh? What is that? That new Justin CD?” “No, it’s when a group of citizens peaceably assemble in civil opposition to something socially, morally, or politically obtuse.” “You mean I can actual make a difference in the real world as opposed to being satisfied with being passive aggressive?” “Yes.” “Um.. sounds boring.” :sigh:

  42. Army of Dorkness says:

    Chris Chiang says:
    05/27/2010 at 4:44 am

    “…a bunch of biased pointless nonsense.”

    Seriously, dude, you’ve proven nothing and just further illuminated how stupid the outrage over this topic truly is.

    I’ll throw you a bone by actually responding to one of your least idiotic statements…

    “But seriously, you have arguments why the characters aren’t Asian [which I believe and proven are worng], but please argue the opposite and prove that the characters should be Caucasian or white.”

    No, they haven’t been proven wrong, fella. A for effort, though. I have no desire to argue FOR the characters being of any race because I don’t have an agenda. After seeing the film (probably twice), I may or may not argue about the casting then as to whether the actors did a good job in their respective roles but NEVER would I make their RACE an issue. I’ve been arguing that their race IS ABSOLUTELY NOT an issue. Why would I now do the opposite of that? Because you were not paying attention or listening to anything I was saying because you were too busy looking for things to cry about instead. Get over yourself.

    “Let’s assume the reverse – WHAT SAYS THESE ARE CAUCASIAN CHARACTERS IN THE STORY??…..Yeah, I can’t think of anything either.”

    Look at you proving how stupid you are, again. Race-neutral means THERE AREN’T ANY CAUCASIAN CHARACTERS IN THE STORY EITHER, YOU BLEEDING IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t mean to insult anyone (yes, I know that’ll read funny as I just did so directly above this), but sometimes you just gotta go with the hard truth for these people.

    Next person….

    “It baffles me that someone can watch a show that has Asian writing, Asian clothing, Asian architecture, Asian philosophy, Asian artwork, Asian names, and more than a few characters with Asian features, and yet still conclude that the characters could be white because “there’s no Asia in the Avatar universe.””

    Why? It makes perfect logical sense. There’s also no “white” race in the Avatar universe either. Unfortunately, live action films have to be made with live action peoples and live action peoples are all considered to be of a “race” or a combination of more than one “race.”

    “I’m just happy that there’s a new Avatar animated project in the works driven by Mike & Bryan. Hopefully it won’t be scuttled if the movie flops.”

    I agree with this statement.

    Next person….

    “This is the Old Hollywood posing as the New Hollywood.”

    I don’t think so. This is Hollywood being Hollywood… meaning the only “color” it cares about is GREEN.

    “You know like they took all Bruce Lee’s ideas for KUNG FU but removed the Asian LEAD for TV. ”

    Not even close. Man, I wish Bruce was still alive… Brandon too. Now THAT would be a great Ozai/Zuko pair at age-appropriate levels.

    “To support the argument with the swampbenders being “rednecks” reveals the true problem in the discussion.

    If one can’t differentiate between the “rednecks’ and the SELLING point and backbone of the whole series: which is Asian myth and culture, then you will get a guy who will post online and say “Suck it Up” like he won a race or something.”

    If I’m reading this correctly, I think you’re saying that by pointing out the redneck-y-ness of the swampbenders but downplay the overall Asian look of the show is proving that it’s a flawed argument? I think BOTH the Asian influence and the redneck-y-ness of certain characters should be treated the same as in treated equally as unimportant factors when it comes to casting. It’s a damn cartoon, folks.

    ““Once the (cultural) opening of China… you know, it will bring more understanding, more things that are like, Hey!… like different you know? And maybe in the contrast or comparison – some NEW thing might grow… ” Bruce Lee, Pierre Berton Interview 1971

    Something NEW but yet OLD as well little dragon.”

    Oh… should I quote from my Jeet Kune Do book to show some Asian cred?

    Okay…”By martial art, I mean like any art, it is an unrestricted athletic expression of an individual soul…martial art is also unfolding the bare human soul, that is what interests me.”–Bruce Lee

    “Individual” and “Human” soul… not “Asian” soul. Maybe if we all listened to Bruce Lee more often we wouldn’t have such huge chips on our shoulders, especially over stupid shit.

    Next person…

    “it’s when a group of citizens peaceably assemble in civil opposition to something socially, morally, or politically obtuse.”

    It’s also when people are misled to believe that opposing something is justified, and they don’t bother to find out the truth as to whether in fact it is or isn’t and just fall in with the crowd. Happens all the time.

    And for hopefully the last time, I’d just like to point out that I agree there should be more Asian or Asian-American actors in the film. However, it is not a travesty or an insult that it didn’t work out that way. A boycott for this reason is pointless and stupid… so really, you’d be better served if you’d just Suck It Up and save it for when it’s actually warranted.

  43. Simply put, movie directors and producers care about making money. The point of a movie is to engulf the viewer and have them relate to the character. If you know that your main demographic is a certain race or creed, then you aim toward that particular direction.
    Don’t vilify these people because they want to be as profitable as possible. I’m not going to advertise my affordable tampons to middle-aged men watching the Superbowl. It’d be stupid and counterproductive, as well as a waste of money. .

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