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ApprenticeofGiza

HELP US OTAKU! AVATAR IS BEING WHITEWASHED!

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I hope this is in the right forum, if not, please move it.

For the original version of this text visit:

http://aang-aint-white.livejournal.com/646.html

SAVING THE WORLD THROUGH POSTAGE

For those who don't already know: The actors who will play the main four characters of "The Last Airbender," the live action Avatar film, have been announced. And all of them are white.

I love Avatar, and have for a long time. But I'm pretty disappointed about this casting decision, and I know I'm not alone in that. This post is about what we can do.

Petitions are largely pointless. Emails are easily ignored. What we need to do is send real, paper letters to Paramount Pictures -- specifically, the two produces, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall -- telling them why we're offended by their casting choices and what we want them to do about it.

Below is a guide for how to make your letter as effective as possible and where to send it once you're done.

Please feel free to link this to as many people as possible. The better organized we are and the more people we get to participate, the more likely it is that we'll make a difference in this mess!

And once you're done with your letter, post a photo of yourself holding it in the comments! (Or your action figure/stuffed animal/dog if you're camera shy)

Why This Is Worth Doing:

1) It'll make you feel better, and you'll be able to say later that you did all you could.

2) The casting isn't final. If we make enough of a stink, it's possible they may reconsider their choices.

3) Even if nothing changes, this production should be called out on their bad behavior. The point is to create an environment where this decision wouldn't have been made in the first place. And if we don't speak up every time they pull this kind of nonsense, they'll never have a reason to change. The only way to make people in positions of power care is to kick up so much of a fuss that they can't ignore you.

4) You can do this in TEN MINUTES, and every single letter they receive makes it more likely that they'll pay attention to what we have to say!

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And this is an issue why? I mean, do you have something against white people? I'm not getting why I should be outraged by this...for one, Avatar isn't even anime, it's just an American cartoon show that tries to copy the anime style. I acknowledge that the characters in Avatar seem to be tanned, but, well, white people can get tans ya know...I don't know. I really don't see any point in this argument, and I can't see this being worth anyone making a stink over. Sorry.

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And this is an issue why? I mean, do you have something against white people? I'm not getting why I should be outraged by this...for one, Avatar isn't even anime, it's just an American cartoon show that tries to copy the anime style. I acknowledge that the characters in Avatar seem to be tanned, but, well, white people can get tans ya know...I don't know. I really don't see any point in this argument, and I can't see this being worth anyone making a stink over. Sorry.

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I have to admit, I'm perplexed by their choices.

The show does feature an invented world, but one that is clearly based on ours -- most specifically in the whole cultural and martial arts background that infuses the whole thing. There's nothing that points to specific ethnicity, but one would expect at least *one* major asian star in the thing.

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I have to admit, I'm perplexed by their choices.

The show does feature an invented world, but one that is clearly based on ours -- most specifically in the whole cultural and martial arts background that infuses the whole thing. There's nothing that points to specific ethnicity, but one would expect at least *one* major asian star in the thing.

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Regarding the Dragonball movie: I'm not terribly bothered because, after all, from a certain perspective, Dragonball itself (manga, anime, or otherwise) is simply a crappy remake of the Journey to the West with some sci-fi stapled onto it.

All the great stories get remade endlessly. West Side Story is a remake of Romeo and Juliet, which itself harkens back to other star-crossed lovers in mythology.

And don't get me started on how many different takes there have been on Batman, Superman, etc.

The great stories can survive being reinterpreted, remade, rebooted, recycled, cannibalized, screwed up, and otherwise mangled. They evolve new versions to fit the media and our needs at any given time.

They won't all be great, just as most high school productions of Shakespeare tend to suck, but the power of the story and imagery persists anyway.

Don't fear new versions of things -- your old, beloved version is still there where you left it, and if Chow Yun Fat's take on Master Roshi leaves you cold, you can always pop in your DVD and select the language you prefer.

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I have to admit, I'm perplexed by their choices.

The show does feature an invented world, but one that is clearly based on ours -- most specifically in the whole cultural and martial arts background that infuses the whole thing. There's nothing that points to specific ethnicity, but one would expect at least *one* major asian star in the thing.

No, because putting an asian actor in a movie based on an asian cartoon makes no sense at all.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's a mistake to cast *none* of the main kids as Asian. Since they come from different parts of the world and different tribal backgrounds, I'd expect Zuko and Iroh to have a different look than Aang, or Sokka and Katara, or Toph. Of them, only Toph has a distinctively Asian last name.

I'd have tried to go for ethnicity that matched the culture/climate -- Katara and Sokka might be cast Scandinavian or Inuit (Eskimo); Aang might be Tibetan or Indian, Zuko and Iroh could go African or Thai or South American (ie, hot climates) etc. But the look is far less important than the skill of the actor.

There's little point in getting wrapped up in concerns at this point -- and so instead I'll hope, optimistically, that they've cast the kids based on their skills in acting and movement. (They'll have to train in martial arts or dance to get the bending movements right, and Sokka will need to be convincing in battle.)

You know what would be awesome? If they kept the cabbage merchant and had Jackie Chan cameo as him (since the actor who voices the cabbage merchant also voiced Jackie in Jackie Chan Adventures). :lol:

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No, because putting an asian actor in a movie based on an asian cartoon makes no sense at all.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's a mistake to cast *none* of the main kids as Asian. Since they come from different parts of the world and different tribal backgrounds, I'd expect Zuko and Iroh to have a different look than Aang, or Sokka and Katara, or Toph. Of them, only Toph has a distinctively Asian last name.

I'd have tried to go for ethnicity that matched the culture/climate -- Katara and Sokka might be cast Scandinavian or Inuit (Eskimo); Aang might be Tibetan or Indian, Zuko and Iroh could go African or Thai or South American (ie, hot climates) etc. But the look is far less important than the skill of the actor.

There's little point in getting wrapped up in concerns at this point -- and so instead I'll hope, optimistically, that they've cast the kids based on their skills in acting and movement. (They'll have to train in martial arts or dance to get the bending movements right, and Sokka will need to be convincing in battle.)

You know what would be awesome? If they kept the cabbage merchant and had Jackie Chan cameo as him (since the actor who voices the cabbage merchant also voiced Jackie in Jackie Chan Adventures). :lol:

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I guess my point is that people -- or rather, fans -- tend to get all worked up over things without considering what a miracle it is that ANYTHING gets made decently at all, ever. It's a far harder thing and there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than the average fan ever considers.

Trust me, I went through the whole thing when they did Lord of the Rings. :)

Both times.

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And this is an issue why? I mean, do you have something against white people? I'm not getting why I should be outraged by this...for one, Avatar isn't even anime, it's just an American cartoon show that tries to copy the anime style. I acknowledge that the characters in Avatar seem to be tanned, but, well, white people can get tans ya know...I don't know. I really don't see any point in this argument, and I can't see this being worth anyone making a stink over. Sorry.

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Also, I hear Dev Patel is taking the part of Zuko. So there you go.

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