Whitewashing Avatar – Yes, it’s possible.

24 thoughts on “Whitewashing Avatar – Yes, it’s possible.”

  1. WOW just … WOW. That extras casting really put it over the edge. I mean really Jesse McCartney? Is there a female role for Miley Cyrus in there? Hollywood never ceases to amaze me.

  2. It gets worse. That casting call for extras asked for people to come dressed in their traditional garb.

    “We want you to dress in traditional cultural ethnic attire. If you’re Korean, wear a kimono. If you’re from Belgium, wear lederhosen.”

    1) I was unaware that Korean = Japanese and that Belgians are the same as Bavarians. Idiots.

    2) Call me crazy, but I don’t recall any lederhosen in the cartoon. No kilts or kente cloth either. I saw plenty of cheonsam, hanbok, kimono, ao dai and saffron robes though.

    This whole casting makes me want to cry in frustration and anger. And it’s not even my culture that’s being disrespected and co-opted.

  3. Just saw you got linked to on Cartoon Brew. Congrats!!

    I would hope that with all of the pissed off people the casting is likely to change. If it doesn’t change, this movie will be the shit-stain on the comfortable underpants that is my love for the show (pardon my language).

  4. Everyone knows a happy Evad is a comfortably underpantsed Evad.

    One blogger posited that this is some viral marketing scheme. Which makes me kind of sick and hopeful at the same time.

  5. Why not just cast Dante, he still looks young as, could be passed as a late teens age with the right lighting…

  6. Uh, themaykazine, just how is Obama going to crack down on this “Elite YT shit”?! Haha! You RACIST! Just in case you forgot, Avatar was created by “YT” people. Bigot!

    What moron thinks that Obama is going to “crack down” on the casting of Avatar? HAHA! Yeah, right. Obama is going to ride in on his black horse and “crack down” on the casting of Avatar! What a moron.

    Just because a person wears certain clothing and respects Asian culture, that person MUST be Asian? What next, themaykazine, if I eat a taco I’m a Mexican?! Good god, what a bigot you are!

    The creators of Avatar are Caucasian, but I guess because they respect Asian culture and make a cartoon that has Asian elements, they must be Asian, right?

    Why can’t Aang be Caucasian?! Why?! Because he wears a gi? Because he knows Kung Fu? Wow, I guess if a person wears a béret, he’s French, right? If a person eats rice, he’s Chinese?! Wow, the level of bigotry here is amazing.

  7. Whoa, Michael. I do not know what to say about you taking that Obama comment seriously. No, I don’t equate Obama with any Hollywood clout.

    Moving on, I am fully aware that Avatar’s creators are “White,” but as I stated here, they have proven to be fully respectful of the cultures they were inspired by. Once casting took place, their creation was taken out of their hands and has severely marred what they had envisioned.

    I think you’re missing the point that this is a modern take on yellow face, a practice from a time when Asians were legally banned from the screen and never warranted professional acknowledgment in the acting league. It’s a golden opportunity to give back to the original community where Avatar’s lore came from, and the casting director Douglas Aibel completely missed the mark.

    You can call me a bigot, but I know you are misinformed. When Aibel casted actors with zero potential to fully comprehend and adequately represent Avatar, he made a huge mistake, and it’s as simple as that.

    I encourage you to read the Jesse McCartney interview here: http://glockgal.livejournal.com/387284.html

  8. Michael – if it’s not Asian, then what is it? White? Why does it have to be white? Why CAN’T it be Asian, if everything in the show is visually Asian? Why is white the immediate default for you? And why should white actors be the immediate default for Hollywood?

    If you care in any way to understand why people – of ALL races – are angry, please read some more on the subject:
    http://www.geneyang.com/blog/index.php
    http://theangryblackwoman.com/2008/12/10/m-night-say-it-isnt-so/
    http://agualimon.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/avatar-white-cast-of-doom/

  9. White is the default only because franchise movies get executives nervous about overseas markets (particularly Asia) not responding to non-Caucasians and US moviegoers not relating to Asian stars. This mentality is on its way out, but we’re still getting a white Speed Racer, Goku, Bulma, etc. with Asians in supporting parts instead of as leads.

    The problem with Avatar is that this particular casting affects at least who can be cast as members of these characters’ families, if not their nation/tribe. In this scenario, Toph could be the most prominent Asian role in the film series since Ozai, Azula and Iroh have to resemble Zuko. And after that? Ty Lee and Mai? Bumi? Suki? It’s going to look like that Jackie Chan movie from last year.

  10. Michael’s comments were so stupid, I just had to respond.

    Peter Parker has an American name. He goes to an American hi-school, finds American sounding friends (Mary Jane, Flash Thompson, etc) who LOOK very white, lives in a very suburbian American environment. According to your logic, he could just as well be a Nigerian/Japanese/Russian (insert your default here) living in America. Genius.

    If ALL THAT doesn’t prove a character’s origin, I’m not sure what will. Should we revert back to “Gollywog” style markings to CLEARLY INDICATE to ignorant people like you what a character’s origins are? Clearly culture, hairstyle, dress sense and lifestyle mean nothing to you.

  11. I don’t have a problem with a caucasian man playing Goku in DB Evolution, because I can see the logic in which he is an Alien, and therefore not necessarily Asian. However, cartoons like Avatar are very obvious in terms of their character ethnicity.

    The Chun Li movie should get equal amount of attention regarding its main character as well.

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