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The Last Airbender Racial Issues
Metalbender92 at 5:23PM, April 18, 2009
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So a lot of the fans of the original series are upset about the casting of M Night's The Last Airbender. Multiple websites and blogs have been created protesting the fact that 2 of the main Inuit characters are white. Another main character, Prince Zuko, was going to be played by Jesse McCartney, but he dropped out and was replaced by Dave Patel from Slumdog millionaire. The movies are going to last 6 years if the next 2 get the green light, so it's a big choice.

So, do you think racism has anything to do with the casting of live action anime (dragon ball evolution) or do you think the casting is solely based on skill/fame (the actor playing sokka had a role in Twilight)?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Skullbie at 6:03PM, April 18, 2009
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I think the actors look right for the part, which is more important than race. (when watching the series i didn't even realize sokka/katara were Inuit until /co/ said so, but i was more into their personalities anyways)

The marketing of these movies should also be taken to consideration as it is mostly young white kids and teens, i wouldn't classify it as racist but white people generally relate and feel connected to a character that is like them in terms of personality and looks.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
Metalbender92 at 6:19PM, April 18, 2009
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Well, I'm not sure of what my opinion is, but some people are saying it's racist that the cast is white just so the audience can relate to the main characters. One of the leaders of the protest said that it was calling people of inuit or asian descent un-relatable to most americans, and that the filmmakers were going for an all white cast so they would make more money.

Keep in mind, though, that the film may not be for a younger audience. M Night stated that it may be rated pg 13, and by the time the movie comes out, the original fans will be 5 years older. So I think it's going to end up as more of a mature film.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 6:39PM, April 18, 2009
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I'll have to agree with Skullbie that they look right for the part.
They just need to be more tan.

It's not really that big of a deal anyway. I guess it was just more convenient for the Directors to do it that way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
Skullbie at 6:41PM, April 18, 2009
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Metalbender92
One of the leaders of the protest said that it was calling people of inuit or asian descent un-relatable to most americans, and that the filmmakers were going for an all white cast so they would make more money.

I've watched a lot of foreign films so i will say that asain facial expressions are a lot less exaggerated compared to white actors with less smiling and even the happy go lucky characters in comedies like white dragon seem reserved. (though white dragon was funny regardless) This is a norm to them yeah but americans are generally used to the almost too exaggerated emotions of disneys stars.

I really do think the actors for sokka and katara look perfect for the part, which in my eyes is more important than race accuracy.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
Product Placement at 10:12PM, April 18, 2009
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All in all those were people living in a imaginary world. All the Inuits in the show where blue eyed if memory served me right. The only blue eyed Inuits around in our world are those who have Norwegian/Icelandic blood in them.

Do we know who's playing Aang?
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the2ndredbaron at 11:50PM, April 18, 2009
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i love forien films, especially Korean films. So I can relate to them just fine. Personally I am not a big fan of airbender but yea I think it is kinda sad. But then again Asians have always had it rough in Hollywood. Charlie Chan anyone, cause you know Swedish actor Asian actor, same thing. And as far as what skullbie said about facial expessions. Well
Song_Kang-ho
Choi_Min-sik
these guys are some of the best actors I have ever scene. And they are so, so subtle compared to American actors.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:16PM
Eunice P at 11:57PM, April 18, 2009
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Skullbie
I've watched a lot of foreign films so i will say that asian facial expressions are a lot less exaggerated compared to white actors with less smiling…

Whut? *points at the stereotype statement*
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
ozoneocean at 1:23AM, April 19, 2009
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Hey, Skull's not really stereotyping “Asian” actors here, she's saying that American actors over act with their facial expressions.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
Hawk at 1:50AM, April 19, 2009
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I feel bad for the serious Airbender fans. They're destined to hate the movie adapations no matter what. They haven't learned any lessons from Hollywood and history. When something you love gets adapted to the screen, 90% of the time it's not about the film living up to your expectations, it's about hoping the film maintains a shred of resemblance.

I don't know much statistics about actors and race, but I get the idea that it would be really hard to find actors of that specific race and age, AND have them look like siblings, AND speaking english, AND have them be half-decent child actors.

I totally agree with Skullbie. They look okay for the part, and costume and makeup will make them look even better. The fans going so far as to create petitions and websites need to just shut up and prepare for the same thing Transformers fans and Street Fighter fans went through.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
isukun at 1:52AM, April 19, 2009
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I don't know, I've seen quite a few HK and Japanese comedies and they seem to be just as capable of overacting with their facial expressions as white actors.

As far as the casting go, the designs in Avatar were generic enough that just about anyone in the right age range with the right haircut could play those roles. Might a well at least TRY to get actors who fit the setting (or at least can act).
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
lefarce at 2:31AM, April 19, 2009
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I've tried to force myself to find the appeal behind Cheap American Naruto, but it's just still not happening. How the hell is this being made into a live action moive? Seriously, I want to know why everyone is on this frenzy to make adaptions of EVERYTHING.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 5:33AM, April 19, 2009
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Product Placement
All in all those were people living in a imaginary world. All the Inuits in the show where blue eyed if memory served me right. The only blue eyed Inuits around in our world are those who have Norwegian/Icelandic blood in them.

Exactly.

And they weren't Inuits. They were based on Inuits, obviously, but Inuits are a race from our world, not the Avatar World. It's pretty clearly a different world from ours, so who's to say that the actors need to look Asian? I don't recall there being a place called “Asia” in Avatar.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
mlai at 5:54AM, April 19, 2009
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Well, this is basically the same thing as Bruce Lee being kicked off Kung Fu so David Carradine can play the Chinese monk main character. Or all those old Westerns hiring white actors to play the drunk evil Indians.

AFAIC, that Indian kid (as in India) who's playing Zuko (what a laugh) should play Sakka. He looks more the part; not just because he's dark, but also his face just screams “comic relief.” And absolutely no one from ATLA should be white. Mixed, ok. Pure Caucasian… no. ATLA's world may be fantasy, but it is still ethnically Asian. IMO, Caucasian actors just shock me out of immersion.

The excuse is… the audience will relate better to Caucasian actors? Newsflash, this isn't the 1960's anymore – America's sensibilities and census are not as white as it used to be. I seriously doubt kids watching a for-kids kung fu movie will demand an all-white cast. They do demand hot actors/actresses, ofc.

Hopefully those 2 will at least go get a good tan… if they can, LOL.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
ozoneocean at 6:43AM, April 19, 2009
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AFAFAFA what? :)

Yeah, I hate watching old movies where the Japanese or Chinese characters are just Europeans with tape on their eyes. All those awful Fu-Man-Chi things… Even in the original doctor who their was a Fu-Man-Cu inspired villain who was played by an Englishman with taped eyes.
It never looked convincing, you just think they'd been in an accident or something. Seriously, that's what it looks like.
Even Ming the Merciless who was another Chu style villain was another taped eye and make-up case… But that was pretty good though since he didn't try to be some cartoon Chinese man, but instead was a generic “Eastern” exotic villian.
Oh, and Yul Brinner in The King and I. That wasn't so bad in that he didn't try to impersonate a Thai person, but You'd still rather him to have BEEN Thai.
And was that Chow Yun Fat in the more modern version? That wasn't good either, Chow looks as much like a Thai as Yul Brinner did. -it was worse in his case because they're basically saying “all Asians look alike, no one can tell”. That's just insulting to everyone.

With that Avatar show, which I never watched but saw bits of on the net occasionally, it's all done in the generic big-eyed animation style; They could be any ethnicity going by features etc.
But going by dress and the whole idea of the world and the mythos (as I understand it), they're clearly SUPPOSED to be based on peoples from east Asia. Mainly Chinese. It's the whole point of the thing. It's not just about people in fancy dress, you know?

I'm sure the creators of the thing intended that.
And I'm not even a fan. In fact I couldn't give a crap about it really… but those who have concerns appear to have a valid case here.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
Metalbender92 at 7:22AM, April 19, 2009
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lefarce
I've tried to force myself to find the appeal behind Cheap American Naruto, but it's just still not happening. How the hell is this being made into a live action moive? Seriously, I want to know why everyone is on this frenzy to make adaptions of EVERYTHING.

It looks like a cheap anime rip off at first, but by the end of season 1, the story has gotten a lot more complex and developed. It really creates an interesting and unique world. The story is very good, and I've never seen better animation than I have at the finale.

The reason for the adaptation? M Night said that he wanted to make a movie like one of Miyazaki's. Avatar is very similar to a Miyazaki film, from its themes to its animation, so that's why he got involved. It's worth making 3 movies out of this series.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
Sea_Cow at 9:46AM, April 19, 2009
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Whoah, Slumdog Millionare is the bad guy?
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:26PM
the2ndredbaron at 3:17PM, April 19, 2009
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as a side note, who else is interested in seeing what shamalyananana can do with something he didn't write
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:16PM
mlai at 7:19AM, April 20, 2009
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I actually like the Fu Manchu type villains, because they're so damned exotic LOL. They're not Chinese… more like some sort of bizarre Manchuria-themed drag queens LMAO.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Product Placement at 8:55AM, April 20, 2009
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as a side note, who else is interested in seeing what shamalyananana can do with something he didn't write
As long as the conclusion doesn't turn up to be that it was all a dream, that they were already dead but didn't know about it or that the PLANTS did it, I'm happy. I swear, the plot twists that this man throws out there get weirder and weirder every time. I was more surprised that he got to make this film since last three of his films tanked.

Seems like this racist issue thingy has been going around the grapevine.
Professor Wikipedia
Controversy quickly arose over the casting of the film, an all-white cast for a predominantly Asian-themed show. The casting of these white actors triggered negative fan reaction marked by accusations of racism and a letter-writing campaign. On Martin Luther King Day, Derek Kirk Kim wrote a negative response to the “racist” casting, saying, “What if someone made a “fantasy” movie in which the entire world was built around African culture. Everyone is wearing ancient African clothes, African hats, eating traditional African food, writing in an African language, living in African homes, all encompassed in an African landscape…but everyone is white.” Actor Jackson Rathbone dismissed the complaints, saying "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan. It's one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
mlai at 11:51PM, April 20, 2009
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DBZ having a Caucasian actor as Son Goku is actually okay, because that character (and most of the DBZ cast) is of uncertain ethnicity in any case, artistically and storywise. I personally never thought of Goku as Asian (or Caucasian). And the DBZ world itself is a much more fanciful world. AFAIK, that future-fantasy Earth is a lot like Star Trek's united Earth, plus anthropomorphic animals as a minority.

As for the Water Tribe siblings… The art may be predominantly Disney-like, but you look at this and then you tell me why it breaks my immersion to see Northern Europeans taking on their roles:


Oh, this is their father:

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
kyupol at 5:21PM, April 22, 2009
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who cares about race.

we are all infinite consciousness.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Koshou at 8:33PM, April 22, 2009
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I'm so glad I left the fandom before the race wank took over. now I'm just meh about it. I'm still going to see it even if it's horrible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 9:09PM, April 22, 2009
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Skullbie
The marketing of these movies should also be taken to consideration as it is mostly young white kids and teens, i wouldn't classify it as racist but white people generally relate and feel connected to a character that is like them in terms of personality and looks.

That's weird/ totally wrong to assume that only white kids watch Avatar (pah!!) I don't regularly consort with little children, but you know that kids of all different races watch tv.

Also, seeing as all the characters in the show look decidedly different from your generic white kid viewer (aang is bald, zuko's scarred, sokka and katara have darker skin), it's apparent that the ‘I need to watch things about white kids’ mentality has any relation to Avatar's success/profitability.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
lastcall at 4:42AM, April 24, 2009
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The movie will most likely tank anyway, so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I guess tweens have to complain about something, or they'll start crying and go all emo.

Sorry, I just think it's a waste of money to turn a perfectly fine animated TV series into a crappy live-action film. Hollywood sucks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Dark Pascual at 11:23AM, April 24, 2009
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Who cares about the cast's race…SHAMALAN IS DIRECTING!!! RUN TO THE HILLS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:07PM
Skullbie at 8:22PM, April 24, 2009
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Kristen Gudsnuk
Skullbie
mostly

only
Might wanna learn the difference there, and i was trying to say the marketing for the movie is clearly aimed at white kids, which is right because they're whitewashing it.

I'll admit i am a little insensitive to whitewashing since the race of an actor isn't something i ever notice if he's portraying the culture, and i've yet to see any asain or inuit actor suggestion for the movie that fit, just a ton of circle jerk and racial tensions over it.
I dread the e-jerk that'll occur when these happen;
Uwire
Another two anime series planned for U.S. adaptations, “Akira” and “Cowboy Bebop,” already have Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves in the lead roles, respectively. The popular videogame Prince of Persia, whose main characters are Iranian, is being adapted to the big screen with Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
lastcall at 9:23PM, April 24, 2009
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Skullbie
“Cowboy Bebop” Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves + 20th Century Fox = one terrible piece of crap. Why do we have to turn everything into live-action? Does Hollywood have any brains at ALL?!?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
mlai at 10:00PM, April 24, 2009
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i've yet to see any asain or inuit actor suggestion for the movie that fit
If Mel Gibson can find perfectly capable no-name ethnic actors for his Aztec/Mayan/whatever movie, so can M. Night.

Another two anime series planned for U.S. adaptations, “Akira” and “Cowboy Bebop,” already have Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves in the lead roles, respectively. The popular videogame Prince of Persia, whose main characters are Iranian, is being adapted to the big screen with Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead.
Actually…
(1) We already know that this Akira movie will be so different from the plot background of the manga, that it doesn't even matter it's not taking place in Japan. It's not really Akira.
(2) Spike Spiegel was never Asian to begin with.
(3) We all know from the Moses/Cleopatra movies that those folks are white ppl with eyeliners.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
isukun at 10:14PM, April 24, 2009
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(2) Spike Spiegel was never Asian to begin with.

I don't think the ethnicity is an issue there, just the fact that Reeves couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. He's the most overpaid non-actor in all of Hollywood. I honestly don't know how he keeps getting cast in lead roles. He's not cheap and he isn't even considered a pretty face, anymore. He ruins 90% of what he touches. There is no reason to ever cast him in any movie you want to see succeed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM

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