I recently posted this as a response to somebody's post about the new Avatar (or Air-Bender) movie - and I think it sums up why nobody should watch it.
I love Avatar the cartoon - it's a clever, thoughtful show that's several notches above the usual crap we peddle to children. I thought that a film was a great idea.
However, this movie is so racist that I'm boycotting the whole damn thing. I truly hope that more people will do the same. Even if you're curious to see what they did, even if they actually made an entertaining film - PLEASE BOYCOTT THIS MOVIE! The only thing Hollywood understands is money - so I hope that as few people as possible put money into validating this greedy racism.
They took hundreds of Asian parts (that's including bit parts and extras all over the Avatar world - a world predominantly or exclusively populated by different Asian races) and filled them with the whitest kids in America - except, get this - when people got upset, the best they could think of doing was making the villains dark skinned. Threw some minorities a bone there, right?
As you will see if you click the above link - it doesn't even end there; I mean - they put out casting calls saying that Koreans should turn up wearing Kimonos. I'm not going to explain how that statement is wrong but it is. This alone created a storm on the internet and they never even apologized.
And that's the tip of the iceberg...
It pisses me off that in this day and age Hollywood can get away with this - but then the movie 21 last year showed us that even true stories about Asian geniuses are prime fodder for rewrites about English people who needed vocal training to play the part American but were somehow allegedly better for the job.
The bottom line is this - the producers decided that they were going to overlook casting Asian actors for the main parts in favour of white-washing it - because they thought that they'd make more money that way. Whether it's spite or greed motivating this racism, it is racism nonetheless and we should not be teaching kids that it's okay.
Also - the less support this piece of shit is given, the more chance there is of it being made correctly one day.
Yeah, I'm not fond of Shamalan at the best of times. This may technically not be his fault though - as casting is often in the hands of producers, but in the end, he's still guilty of the crime of inactivity, you know?
If you agree, then please make posts elsewhere to convince others to join the boycott!
Glad you agree man. We knew it wouldn't be as good as the series when they announced the director.
Alice and I were sitting at Cones with some friends last year and we were joking about how Hollywood would warp the concept beyond recognition.
I remember joking that they'd make Aang The Last Bulletbender, staring Brad Pitt as Aang, with Morgan Freeman as the spirit of Roku. It'd be set in the real world and all of the element stuff would be replaced with Wanted style gunplay. Pitt would still have the arrow tattoos though - but just to make him badass.
Regardless of how shit it turns out to be though, it's really just the racism that boils my blood. I'm often upset when Hollywood arrogance ruins a time-tested plot, but in this case - the only aspect they really seem to be changing is that of the characters race.
Well, it's not like the white kid they cast as Aang has any star power. Dev Patel doesn't have any star power either. They're depending on the strength of the property, which was deliberately Asian in character, tone and content, and the director, who is also Asian, to bring people in. Why this movie would do better with a White Aang is beyond me. Slumdog Millionaire was a big hit because people loved the movie. People lined up to see Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, even though Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh were only big names with a small niche in this country. Make a good movie, promote it well, and people WILL come.
I find it actually rather insulting that Hollywood assumes audiences will automatically be ethnocentric and xenophobic. Making Will American (among other sins) didn't make more people see the Dark Is Rising movie. If anything, it made fans of the series, like myself realize that they were totally going to get it wrong and stay the fuck away. I don't need or want to be pandered to because of my skin color. I'm not a xenophone who lacks the ability to be engaged by characters who don't look like me. If anything, I would much prefer to see Asian or Inuit actors in this movie because it will help to lend the film the authenticity it needs to help with my suspension of disbelief. The world of Avatar works so well because it has texture and historicity. This movie completely misses that when it applies this sort of racial imperialism to the story. I'm not surprised that they did this, I EXPECTED them to do this. But every now and then, I'd like to see someone in the movie industry have the gonads to take a big budget movie and do something risky to make it BETTER.