Fabrice Fabrice (pikapika217) wrote,
Fabrice Fabrice

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Pika service Announcement: let's not let 'Yasmin' happen all over again

AKA avatar-gate '08 part 1: the sitch

This is a really hard entry for me to write since I like to not ruffle feathers at all (you guys know that; I'm all about being neutral & giving the benefit of the doubt) & to have good sweet relationship with all of you, but this is something important to me:

Ok, so I know I've never talked about this series before, but I do kind've like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Quick info is this (edited with more accurate show descriptions thanks to picklepud ):


Set in an feudal era Asian- influenced world where four nations with differing powers of elemental manipulation once existed (Earth Wind Fire & Water; not everyone has abilities, but each nation has members who can control said elements), it is about Aang, (blue arrow) a boy with the ability to manipulate air who is the last of his kind. Aang, (blue arrow boy) is an air bender but is also the avatar (has the ability to bend all the elements). The Fire nation, evil as all get out, took over all four nations several generations ago they destroyed the Air benders, and then begain to take over the Earth Kingdom during the show's run, and it's up to Aang to stop their evil reign of Tyranny, along with his friends Soka (darker skinned boy) , Katara (the girl) who come from the water nation and their friend Toff (unseen here; she the blind daughter of a dignitary who is an earth bender)

so, short list -

Aang - Tibetan Influenced
Soka and Katara - Inuit influenced
Prince Zuko, Toff, and the majority of the supporting characters - Asian influenced

Well, the series is SO popular that it's getting a live action treatment, with M. Night Shyamalan directing. Now, surely a series so deeply, purely and accurately asian, directed a man of color, could cast actors to match the animated depictions, right?

Of course not -

What others have said on the issue:


What I have to say -

Now, unlike the Bratz movie were no specific races are identified, this is clearly a different case! these are ASIAN characters. hell, you see most of the higher royalty in Kimono always, not to mention the use of chinese characters in the writing shown, the buildings and the characters themselves.

So in many ways this is exactly like Yasmin-gate 08 but much worse. I was just mildly annoyed at first, since I'm more of a casual fan who watches it with my little brother when it's on, but now I'm all kinds of pissed! I don't CARE how well they act. at all. that is not the issue. Why does every series made into a movie have to feature white people as ethnic characters!?! Kids are not stupid, nor as color conscious as Hollywood thinks. They want a good story with good characters, regardless of color. (The same thing has happened with the Dragon Ball Z movie but whoops: WAY too late for that. and not my fight.)

And for some reason, the fact that an indian man is doing this to characters of color really upsets me! When/how will great actors of color get the chance to star in lead roles featuring characters their own ethnicity if they'll just be re-cast as white!?! It points to this: how big is race really? Race aside, they do look well enough like their characters, granted, and are probably decent actors, but my issue is that there are plenty of actors of color that are good as well, yet are passed over for movies that are made to connect with them.

But unlike Yasmin, there's still time to fix it/ make some noise about it:


there is a letter writing campaign that's trying to get started, and I'm going to write my letter as soon as possible and mail it off. And I'm hoping that whether or not you watch the series, you can get to what I'm saying. I'm not trying to be racist. I'm just trying to get equal representation. American isn't only white people, Hollywood, and if anybody should know that, it's you.

So, help us with this? only paper letters will really get the message through. petitions and emails are largely ignored after all. Hell, consider this my Christmas present if you wish. If nothing else, just spread the word?

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