Tuesday, July 28, 2009

(Causes) Avatar: Not a Racebender

A-yo, Slamites*!

*Thought I'd experiment with a new way of addressing those who stop through our humble abode.

Anyone following our twitter? If you're not, you should be. It's something like a BIG deal. I'm just saying.

Last week, I kind of went on a little race rant. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an Otaku. I live and breath anime. Trust me, you can quiz me on it and I'll probably crush your quiz. I also am fascinated by Japanese and Chinese storytelling.

Now, I'm not a fan of Avatar, but that didn't stop this from getting under my skin.

Props to www.racebending.com for this one.

Avatar: The Last Airbender
is an extremely popular cartoon that premiered on Nickelodeon in February, 2005. It's protagonist is the 12-year-old Aang, who was originally intended to be Tibetan. The story is set in a fictional world that was designed to look more Asian than European. Personally, I applaud the creators of the series for making a successful series that really spotlights Asian scenerey and characters.

Here comes the problem: There's a movie coming out. Paramount's doing it. And instead of keeping with the series and the wishes of the creators, Paramount has decided to substitute several Asian characters with white ones. Basically, every good guy is portrayed as white. Every bad guy gets to remain Asian.

Oh, here's a quote from Jackson Rathbone when asked about him playing an Asian character while being White: "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan."

Yea, Jackson. That's all you need to be Asian...

And no one sees a problem with this?

This isn't the first time that race became a suspect issue for an Anime/Cartoon adaptation. Remember last year?

That's right, Dragonball Evolution. Probably the worst movie I've seen in awhile, featured Japanese Goku being portrayed by white Justin Chatwin.

People let Dragonball slide, but I think we need to put our foot down for the Avatar case. What does that teach the children who will be watching the movie, who know Aang and Katara as being Tibetan and Inuit respectively. How do you explain to them that non-White leads just can't suffice in Hollywood?

This is a cause I'm willing to stand up for. How about you?

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