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Zer Netmouse
April 13th, 2009
08:41 pm

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Up in arms (while you're at it)
A couple weeks ago bryanalexander asked if I knew of any particular ways to take action on the whitewashing of Avatar: the Last Airbender.

I have become aware that there is a petition effort here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/racebend/petition.html

sponsored by the folks here:
http://www.racebending.com/

pump up the volume.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:aiela
Date:April 14th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
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They've already re-cast some of the roles - Dev Patel is taking over the role they'd originally cast Jesse McCarthy (if that's his name, whoever the blond teeny-bopper is) in, and I thought there were a couple others, too.
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From:netmouse
Date:April 14th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
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If you follow the link to racebender.com they do show Dev Patel in that role- Zuko, a villain.

At least he's not a blonde blue-eyed pop star anymore, but now you've got two lily white heroes and a brown villain?

I suppose it's *possible* that they intend to use makeup to make those two young stars to look completely Asian, yet somehow I doubt it.
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From:sorcycat
Date:April 14th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
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I'm a big fan of the show and I was somewhat disappointed to hear that the cast was very white. Yes, Zuko is a villain but it strongly depends on how he comes off. In the TV show the character is very complex and evolving, kind of like the series is a coming of age for him. It's a very strong transformation. If they cover the whole series then this will be apparent. As far as the rest of the cast, I'd point out that the show was voiced by actors with midwestern accents and I being a cartoon their ethnicity was subtle. The only character who had an accent was Uncle Iroh, and maybe a slight accent for Zuko. Maybe.
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From:netmouse
Date:April 14th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
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This movie will only cover the first season, not the whole series.

I did not watch the show, but looking at the pictures of the characters on racebender.com it seems dramatically misscast. This is not really about ethnicity to me (re: accents) so much as very directly about skin color and taking heroes who kids with a dark complexion could see looked like them and making them look completely different, and not like them at all, in the movie. (In a world where not that many heroes looked like them in the first place).

My understanding is that for small kids, much of TV these days is populated with characters of other colors and ethnicities. But for kids who watched Avatar as young teens that was not so true.
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