And now, yet another crazy editorial from Angel Jimenez:
There’s been a lot of crazy talk about The Last Airbender movie the past few weeks … you know, how M. Night Shyamalan is some kind of “racebender” because he cast Caucasians and Indians in prominent roles that some Asian Americans thought should be cast by Native American Eskimos, Tibetan Monks, Chinese, and Koreans.
Well, speaking as a clear-minded Hispanic American who doesn’t have a race-card on the table, I can tell 100% with all certainty that the real “racebenders” in this whole controversy are those saying Shyamalan is discriminating against Asians!
First of all, Shyamalan HIMSELF is an Asian American, specifically Indian American. Isn’t it strange that he’s being called out for being some kind of racist by other Asian Americans? Hmm … makes you wonder.
I mean, people from India have a darker complexion than those from China or Korea, right?
I’m really beginning to wonder if the pale-face Asians (to quote the wolfboy from Twilight, my favorite character from that series) have got a problem with the dark-skinned Indians. I mean, the dude playing Prince Zuko is a great actor, and yet he’s getting no love from the white Asians. Maybe it’s just a straight racial thing, right?
Maybe White Asians don’t like Caucasians, and they don’t consider Indians to be part of their special Asian clique.
As for some of the stuff I’ve heard, like, “It’s so obvious Prince Zuko is Chinese,” is over my head, man. I didn’t realize he was Chinese. I mean, yeah, Katara and her brother have the eskimo skin complexion, but with those big eyes? Those are definitely caucasian eyes, dude. And, I’m sorry, but the Avatar always looked like a white boy in Tibetan garb to me. I mean, I never saw in the credits, “Hey, Earth Benders are definitely Korean, Fire Nation is Chinese (because we hate those red fire commies), Aang is like a Tibetan monk in exile, and freakin’ Katara is a snow eskimo princess.”
The funniest thing is reading Angry Black Woman‘s blog, where she justifies how there are no black people in the cartoon, and therefore it’s okay to keep black people out of the live action movie. She says she’s used to that, and maybe it’ll open doors for future sci-fi cartoons with all-black casts.
Hahaahahahahahahaahahaa … what kind of lame justification is that? M. Night casts Aang’s mentor as a black man, and she’s gotta, uh, bend over backwards in order to stand with the race benders? LOL.
So I guess Angry Black Woman doesn’t think a black man can be a Tibetan Monk? Talk about inferiority complex, man. That is so LaME, to put down your own race just so you can claim an injustice has been committed. Especially when zero injustice has been committed.
Whatever guys. You racebenders win — doesn’t look like The Last Airbender is going to make enough money to justify a sequel. I guess the message of nonviolence and peace wasn’t good enough for you. If a “White” actor (and that word white encompasses a lot of races, doesn’t it?) is pitching that, I guess you can’t buy it. If an Indian actor is getting a plum role, I guess you gotta hate him.
Man, this racebending stuff is such a slippery slope, you know? It’s a vicious cycle. It never ends. It’s messed up.
I just had to call out all the racebenders for hating on Indian actors and not giving the “White” actors a chance.
I’m going to leave you with some quotes from movie critics that some blogger used to justify his racebending stance. To me, these words prove racist beliefs. You tell me if these LaME movie reviews don’t sound prejudiced. Feel like I’m reading a newspaper from the South in the 1940′s when I read these quotes:
“This fiasco has deservedly generated advance criticism for hiring Caucasian actors to play leads that were portrayed as Asians in the TV show and pitting them against darker-skinned bad guys.” [New York Post]
“The Nickelodeon series, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is wholly and inarguably centered on Asian (and Inuit) culture. But Shyamalan, a South Indian, for whatever reason — you supply the motive — chose to cast mostly white actors. Two fellow Indians, “Slumdog Millionaire’s” Dev Patel and veteran Indian-American Aasif Mandvi, play different kinds of villains, but otherwise this fantasy world is pretty white until you get to the extras.” [Hollywood Reporter]
“After the miscalculation of making the movie as live action, there remained the challenge of casting it. Shyamalan has failed. His first inexplicable mistake was to change the races of the leading characters; on television Aang was clearly Asian, and so were Katara and Sokka, with perhaps Mongolian and Inuit genes. Here they’re all whites. This casting makes no sense.” [Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times]
“The four elemental nations represent centuries of culture, with unique garments, architecture and fighting styles to distinguish them (there also seems to be some sort of impenetrable logic about their ethnicities, with people of color filling nearly all the secondary roles).” [Variety]
“The casting is peculiar: Already the subject of some Asian-American protests, the movie has made the good-guy Water Nation folks largely (and dully) Anglo, with Mediterranean and Indian and other swarthy-type performers portraying the bad-guy Fire Folk.” [Chicago Tribune]
One argument that was constantly brought up in defense of racebending allegations was that the leads were chosen for their talent — but we see little of that from Ringer, Peltz, and Rathbone. Meanwhile, in scenes featuring the Fire Nation army, it’s hard not to notice that all of the villains in the film are distinctly darker in skin tone than our heroes. [Slashfilm]
“The producers have been widely criticized for failing to cast the Asian characters of the original with Asian actors, and the criticism is valid, notwithstanding the presence of Asians in minor roles. Like the hero, Aang, the lead characters of the brave sister and brother, Katara and Sokka, are played by young and conspicuously Caucasian American actors.” [Wall Street Journal]
“The movie arrives chased by controversy — protests by fans that the story has been figuratively whitewashed. Although several characters like Katara and Sokka were dark-skinned in the cartoon, here they’re played by Caucasians…Race is a factor here. Caucasian actors in the movie tend to get lines; non-Caucasian actors tend to be used as background. The movie’s Fire Nation tribe has Indian and Maori stars — but they’re the swarthy villains. For a director who is himself Indian-American, it’s a pretty thoughtless approach at best.”[New Jersey Star Ledger]
“Considering all of the (understandable) outrage that came from casting four Caucasians in lead roles that were Asian in the original animated series, it is almost offensive that the lead actors are blank slates from beginning to end. This is clearly not a case of Shyamalan sacrificing the racial balance of his story for the sake of casting an irreplaceable young actor (there is no Haley Joel Osment-like discovery in the mix here). Frankly, the casting has an accidental (?) racial undertone, as the good guys of the Water Nation are all white and/or British while the villainous Fire Nation people generally all portrayed by Indian or Middle Eastern actors.” [Huffington Post]
Dang. Can’t we just watch a movie without gettin’ all krunk about race?