17 December 2008

More Avatar: the Whitewashed Airbender links and things

Lemon Water

Some individual links you should read
Angry Asian Man: A break-up of Sorts What does this casting choice say to me, the angry Asian man? It says that every time somebody speaks more slowly and loudly to me because they assume that English isn't my first tongue, they're right to do so, because I'm not normal. [...] It says that even though Konietzko and DiMartino took pains to articulate themes of diversity and multiculturalism, all their work was for naught, because people don't really want to look at people who look like me. It says that every time somebody thinks of me as the other, they're right, because I am.

We'll let the show speak for itself - an extensive set of screencaps depicting the rich Asian feel of the show.

The Last Airbender Gets a Cast What’s irritating here is not that these kids are mostly unknowns or had bit parts in retarded movies, but that they’re all whiter than Mormon Jesus. “Avatar” self-consciously created a world and characters from non-Western cultures, they being the source of philosophy and metaphysics the show drew upon. Shyamalan and Co., in taking us to honky-town, have stripped one of the more original elements of the story.

Sad, Racist, or Firebendingly Hillarious? Okay, okay. So, the uproar isn't that they cast white people. We are upset because this is one of the few movies where they could have cast diverse actors--but didn't.

Who do I have to blow to get some representation around here? I'm not the irrationally Angry Asian (Wo)man, I really don't care about picky knee-jerk stuff like Kung Fu Panda characters being voiced by white people, or Zhang Ziyi (and Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh) playing Japanese women, because I know people were being super finicky about 'em. But this? Ah.. yeah, all this tells me is that Asian actors are too Asian for the most Asian show on TV, soon to be on the big screen. Fan-fucking-tastic.

what we talk about when we talk about During our early Christmas dinner this weekend, the oldest of the nephews, who is 13, brought up the subject of the incredibly white child actors that had been picked for the film version. The three of them were confused and disappointed but unable to articulate exactly why. Then the youngest, all of 7 years old, asked me whether this meant that he couldn't be Aang when he played Avatar with his friends from now on. [seriously, this last sentence makes me cry.]

White Cast of ATLA Besides, it's not like Asians are lacking opportunities in Hollywood. It's not like we want those leading roles, right? There will always be work playing Chinese delivery boys, liquor store clerks, nail salon workers and Asian gangster thugs number 1 through 6. Thanks again, Hollywood!

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