Speaking out against the Casting Choices in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Usually, this blog is devoted quite adamantly to book-based fandom because media-based fandom has more than its share of outlets for news and discussion. However, this is an issue that I have been following for some weeks now about the upcoming movie Avatar: The Last Airbender. The movie is based on the popular Nickelodeon animated program Avatar. The initial fandom buzz about this movie infuriated me, but I didn’t jump into the fray because it wasn’t *my* fandom. I’ve since reevaluated this stance as, at best, ignorant and, at worst, an attitude that allows bullshit like this to perpetuate in the first place.

To sum up: Avatar is a popular animated television show on Nickelodeon. The program is fantasy, but the imagined cultures are rooted strongly in East Asian and Inuit culture, and the characters–in keeping with this–all appear as East Asians and Inuits as well.

As they do with just about anything that has achieved success, Hollywood decided to make a movie based on Avatar. Only, when the major casting decisions were announced, all of the actors chosen were white. Never mind that the source was inspired and based on a culture and people completely unlike these kids, in the words of one of the stars, “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan.” Wow.

To add insult to injury, a second casting call was put out for extras. The first call, for the lead actors, asked for “Caucasian or any other ethnicity.” (I am quoting from memory as I seem to have lost the post where I originally saw this. I will add it if I find it. ETA: I got the quote right, and the original post can be found on Alas, a Blog.) This time, people of “ethnic background” were sought. Part of the casting call reads, “You’re asked to dress casually or in the traditional costume of your family’s ethnic background.”

So, when they’re looking for the leads, for the faces that will represent this project to the world, they explicitly favor white faces? But, when they need a little local color to fill in the background, please, by all means, show up in your “traditional costume”! (Even the word costume makes me cringe. When I put on a feathery leotard for a skating performance or dress up like an Elf for a Ren Faire, those are costumes. Clothing that has real-life, actual significance to real-life, actual cultures of people are not costumes, with all the implication of playing dress-up or putting on a performance.)

I would highly encourage my fellow fans to join me in communicating how wrong this whole situation is.

First, I would encourage everyone to read some of the posts being made about this by fans of color. Even if you’re not sure that you agree with me (or you’re adamant that you don’t, and there’s no problem with the casting for Airbender), I’d suggest reading some of these posts before you choose to do nothing. I am white. I cannot communicate what it is like for people of color to constantly see their faces and cultures disregarded and appropriated to make way for the white “norm.” I cannot communicate the pain and frustration of knowing from a young age that certain avenues were closed off to me because of my skin color or the breadth of my nose or the shape of my eyes and that people like me had no place in the important stories being told in mainstream culture. Their words and anger and hurt are what matters, not mine.

Here are a few suggested places to start. The posts are rather long, but both are well worth the time spent on them. These posts link to other posts, so it should not be hard to read more beyond this list. I also encourage those of you who have been following this mess or who discover posts that you feel are worth sharing to link them in the comments. I will add them to the list here when you do.

Seeking Avalon: A Conversation I WANT to Have
Ciderpress: What We Talk about When We Talk about
Shewhohashope: In the collective unconcious: cultural impositions, internalised racism & the colonised mind

Second, please pass on the word about this. I haven’t heard about it anywhere in the ivory towers of book-based fandom, and it’s important. It’s worth getting the word out. You may link here, though I’d prefer if you’d link to one of the posts by people of color who are telling their stories. For ideas about taking action, here is a post on the Angry Asian Man blog that gives specific details. If you’re so inspired, write your own blog/journal posts. Let’s get the word out.

Third, don’t see the movie. One of the arguments that is constantly trotted out in debates about casting whites in the roles of non-whites is that white people don’t want to watch movies about characters of color. White allies against racism should take this as the insult that it is. And we should all put out money where our mouths are by demanding a fair and diverse representation of the world’s many, many non-white cultures in mass media. Personally, I want to see human culture and beauty in its many colors and shapes. And I’m tired of being told that I don’t want to.

Fourth, tell the studios that you aren’t seeing the movie and why. Movies flop all of the time, and it’s anyone’s best guess why they do. We need to make clear, if this one follows many of its predecessors into the abyss, that the racist casting decisions were a big reason–if not the reason–why people chose not to see this movie.

There is a community on LiveJournal called Aang Ain’t White that is organizing letter-writing campaigns and protests. Check in here for updates.From Angry Asian Man, here are the latest addresses:

Mr Mark Bakshi
President Features Production
5555 Melrose Avenue
Shulberg Building
Suite 211
Room 115
Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197

and

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall
Kennedy/Marshall Company
619 Arizona Avenue, Fl. 2
Santa Monica, California 90401


It was the last post on the Seeking Avalon blog, along with following the unfolding debate about race on Metafandom that finally pushed me to comment on this. Before that, it was easy to dismiss my silence because it wasn’t *my* fandom and I have no interest in anime and I probably wouldn’t have seen the movie in the first place.

Last week was one of those *omgwtf* atrocities in terms of school- and work-load, so I missed most of the posts about the latest racist idiocy on Metafandom. However, I did skim the excerpts to at least make a mental note about which ones I might like to return to in the future, and one particular line jumped out at me from the excerpt of Shewhohashope’s post In the collective unconcious: cultural impositions, internalised racism & the colonised mind:

Not seeing things in terms of race is an aspect of privilege, as I’ve said before. I can’t not see things in terms of race, because people will always see me in terms of mine.

And something somewhere, in conjunction with the Avatar atrocity, just clicked, and I realized that my ability to brush off something that I felt passionately about was a reflection of my own privilege as a white person, at always getting to see “my” culture represented as the standard and the norm, at always getting to see faces like mine represent both heroes and villains and people from all walks of life, at getting to be part of the “important” stories being told in mainstream culture.

I mean, I’m in the damned Tolkien fandom. It’s a mythology constructed by a white guy for perceived white audiences in an attempt to give a richer mythological history to a white, imperialist nation. Often, when I meet people from fandom or when they see my picture online, they gasp and say, “Dawn, you look just like an Elf!” because I have skin that refuses to tan, my blond hair reaches my butt, and my eyes are bright blue-gray. The mythology Tolkien wrote represents … me. And, to a degree, my heritage. On my mom’s side, I am descended from the Stuart clan in Scotland. Had my distant, distant relative gotten her way, she would have been queen instead of Elizabeth I. I am connected, in every way, to the stories that I have chosen to study and reinterpret as part of my own fiction. And, looking at me, no one ever doubts it. And I never have to worry that some dominant group will try to steal the connections that I feel to these stories from me and replace me with someone better and more acceptable to the normative culture.

How lucky I am, to not only have found stories that I’m passionate about studying and never to have to worry about those stories being taken from me and given to someone else! Even as a woman–with my own uphill battle against male privilege and ignored and maligned, as a gender, in my favorite books–I did not have to worry that Peter Jackson would decide that Galadriel was too wise and powerful for anyone to believe that she was really a woman, and to switch the roles of Galadriel and Celeborn so that she was in the background and he became the hero. Or turn Éowyn into a guy. Or for Christopher Tolkien to make Lúthien an obedient, submissive bootlicker to her idiotic father and fiance, or to make Morwen a whiny hand-wringer instead of one of the strongest and most courageous characters in the story.

I am so lucky not to have these fears part of my daily life. This, I think, makes it all the more necessary that I speak up when I see it happening to others.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrLinkedInLiveJournalEmail

15 Responses to “Speaking out against the Casting Choices in Avatar: The Last Airbender”

  1. French Pony says:

    I will certainly refuse to watch Avatar!

    (umm . . . not that I had any idea what that was until relatively recently, when another friend of mine expressed irritation over the issue . . . )

    But it was for pretty much that exact same reason that I refuse to rent the Earthsea movie. Especially considering how angry Ursula Le Guin was at the casting choices for that movie, after she had specifically written characters with darker skin to buck the tradition of the Great White Hero in fantasy novels.

    never to have to worry about those stories being taken from me and given to someone else!

    Probably not in Tolkien. But do consider, there are plenty of stories that have already been taken away from you, before you even had a chance to notice. Do you honestly think that Harry Potter (who coasts through much of the books on his inherited fame and ability) is that much smarter and more interesting than Hermione Granger (who does it all by very hard work)? The rabbits in Watership Down are all male. Trillian is pretty much Zaphod Beeblebrox’s Girlfriend and not much else.

  2. Dawn says:

    How funny; I too learned of Avatar through this imbroglio! :)

    I love the Earthsea books, and I can’t imagine a white Ged or an all-white Earthsea. So I won’t watch the movie.

    Actually, in Earthsea, I find it amusing that people from Kargad–those bloodthirsty religious fundamentalists who just can’t figure out how to live in harmony–are the typical Great White Heroes: blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin. I think it’s actually an interesting perspective, to see how such a culture appears to non-white, non-Western cultures.

    On the gender question …

    I agree with you, and I had actually started to write something about the parallels between how non-whites and women are marginalized (or maligned) in literature but decided that 1) that was a rant that I couldn’t contain in this single post and 2) it made it too much about me and my own feelings as a woman in a patriarchal culture, and I really didn’t want to distract from my main point here. The comparison of Galadriel-turned-Celeborn isn’t perfect because, of course, different forms of discrimination/bias are not created equal, but I hoped that it might put it somewhat into perspective for the majority of Tolkien fandom, who are white women and (among those reading here anyway) feminist, what it means to have one of the few characters you can identify with changed to be more mainstream. That it’s not so easy to whine, “But the characters don’t change! Who cares what their race is! We should be color-blind!”

    I’ve actually written my final research paper for my Women Writers course on how the modern fantasy genre has the opportunity to fix some of the harm done by literature and literary archetype, where women are marginalized or else reduced from people to symbols and used to serve male interests. Once it’s graded, I will be reworking it to post here, possibly as a multi-part (since the original is 21 pages!)

    On Tolkien, I think he’s as guilty of the same, actually. I see Galadriel as reduced to an archetype and used to illustrate the dangers of taking too much power. Eowyn gives up her sword to have babies for one “capable of conquering a wild Shieldmaiden” (or somesuch rot … I’m quoting from memory). Luthien is definitely a feminist although, again, idealized to the point of becoming meaningless, and I have major problems with how JRRT depicted male-mortal/female-Elf relationships compared to female-mortal/male-Elf relationships. (Under discussion here, if you missed it.) Morwen remains pretty darned cool. At the moment, not having done too much pondering on her from a feminist perspective, I do think he got her right. Though her story is still bloody depressing!

  3. French Pony says:

    Also interesting to note that, for the vast majority of its existence, the Tolkien fandom has been made up of white men. The female fandom didn’t experience the boom until around the time the movies came out. It used to be one of the great jokes about geekdom, the lack of women involved.

    Actually, in Earthsea, I find it amusing that people from Kargad–those bloodthirsty religious fundamentalists who just can’t figure out how to live in harmony–are the typical Great White Heroes: blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin. I think it’s actually an interesting perspective, to see how such a culture appears to non-white, non-Western cultures.

    That was precisely Le Guin’s intent in creating the Kargs.

    because, of course, different forms of discrimination/bias are not created equal,

    Careful . . . you’re starting to get into comparative victimology here, and that is a path that never ends well.

    There’s absolutely no point, practical, rhetorical, or otherwise, in trying to assign a hierarchy to different forms of oppression. Who gives a flying fuck if sexism is less than, equal to, or greater than racism, classism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, eksetra? All that that does is to deny the multiplicity of ways that people can be and are oppressed. And it especially denies the phenomenon of oppression by the oppressed. Black men can be just as sexist as white men (and gay men, for that matter). The fact of their own oppression does not give black men or gay men (or even gay black men!) a free pass to go around being sexist, even though many think it does. It’s still important to identify forms of oppression no matter who is perpetrating them and fight against them.

  4. Dawn says:

    I think you might have misunderstood me. Your point about “comparative victimology” is the exact point I was trying to make.

    Or: just because, as a woman, I’ve experienced sexism does not mean that I can understand the way that racism has affected a Black man or a Latina woman.

    I think, sometimes, people assume that because they’ve been oppressed in one way, then that automatically qualifies them to speak on the oppression of others. That was the point I was trying to make in my comment, and the pitfall I was trying to avoid in my post. Sorry it wasn’t clearer.

  5. French Pony says:

    Or: just because, as a woman, I’ve experienced sexism does not mean that I can understand the way that racism has affected a Black man or a Latina woman.

    Not precisely, one hundred percent, in every particular, no. But you can certainly make the analogy from your own experience and empathize. Only a total wankhead would try to stop you from doing that.

    I think, sometimes, people assume that because they’ve been oppressed in one way, then that automatically qualifies them to speak on the oppression of others.

    And I tend to think that these people do have a point. While the particulars of oppression may change, there are some factors that are common all across the spectrum, and (to the extent that the word “qualified” actually has any meaning here, which is another thing I question) that would make the objects of oppression qualified to speak about it. In analogy, yes, and accounting for the variations in types of oppression, but honestly, that’s exactly the sort of thing that builds up anti-oppression forces. It’s why so many Jews involved themselves in the civil rights movement, for instance.

    The problem is when you get into situations where a small coterie of people of Oppressed Category ? decide that their oppression is so unique and so special and so all-encompassing that no one else can possibly imagine what it’s like, analogy is impossible, and that they and only they may be allowed to speak about it, and everyone else must shut up and listen. This tends to go hand in hand with a subset of this coterie declaring that they cannot possibly be accused of oppressing Oppressed Category ß because the very act of pointing out their oppression of ß is oppressive in and of itself.

    This is the point where I cry bullshit.

  6. Dawn says:

    I’m still not sure that we disagree that much. I absolutely agree that one can empathize with other oppressed groups and that oppression shares certain characteristics. For example, I’ve no doubt that my own lifelong interest in equality and justice comes from an early life that was full of cruelty and oppression, not necessarily for being just female (although there was some of that too), but for a combination of many things that make me who I am and, in the eyes of some, therefore ripe for mistreatment. And that does create in me the desire to save that pain for others, as much as I possibly can. I often think that if I could give the human race one thing, it would be more empathy.

    I do, however, prefer to err on the side of caution when attempting to speak of other people’s experiences because, while I can draw on my own experiences with other forms of oppression, and I can draw on empathy, then I can’t know what it is to be in another person’s skin. Not entirely.

    My preference, then, is to let people speak for themselves whenever possible and to be cautious in assuming that my own experiences translate directly to theirs.

    In the example of replacing Galadriel with Celeborn, I don’t think that this is the exact same thing as substituting the Asian characters in Avatar with white characters. I had hoped that some white women, who might otherwise shrug and move on, might be more empathetic to the issue if the idea of substituting one character for another was put into terms that spoke more to their own experiences. I don’t think it’s a direct translation, though; hence my caution as far as investing that example with too much importance.

    On the last points, I agree there too. I prefer to listen rather than speak about others’ experiences but (as evidenced by this post itself) I also feel that I have a moral obligation to speak up when I see something unfair or unjust. As for the last point about the oppression of Beta Group by Alpha Group, it seems to me that this hearkens to the idea of oppression or privilege as a summation, i.e., I’m female + bisexual + Asian so that gives me more “points” than you who are male + atheist + in a wheelchair, so I have more of a say or my issues are more important than yours. And I’m allowed to be dismissive or disrespectful of you. (Obviously, I’m not actually talking about you and me here! :) ) And that particular idea I find maddening. I think we all have an obligation to listen and try to minimize the harm we do to each other, no matter what has been done to us, but I am, admittedly, a pie-eyed idealist, and here is no exception.

  7. French Pony says:

    i.e., I’m female + bisexual + Asian

    You . . . you . . . you’re Sparrow Pidgeon! One of my favorite Dykes To Watch Out For characters!

  8. Rhapsody says:

    Wait, what???? My husband loves Avatar, my kid has Avatar clothes and … <- can’ t find words for it. So does the white populace need to feel secure and soothed by this level of political correctness? Omg, an asian male has the lead and the sky will come crashing down on us? I sometimes wish that nice fandoms and books weren’t slaughtered to appease a possible audience (like why did Arwen have to steel Glorfindel’s horse? What’s wrong with him coming to Aragorn’s rescue and…).

  9. Dawn says:

    As a white person, I don’t buy for a minute the age-old excuse that white people won’t watch a person of color in a leading role. I don’t think this is white people demanding this change (although white people have sure made asses out of themselves in this and related race discussions lately) but Hollywood taking a comfortable old road, which they do quite often. It’s always been done that way, so they’re just as happy to continue unless people (we, the fans) put pressure on them to change. Which is why I think that speaking out about this movie is so important; even if it doesn’t change this movie, it might change thinking for the next.

    On Arwen in the FotR movie, I regard PJ’s movies as a fan fiction. If he had to go “AU” and change something, I’m glad that he made a change that gives women a more empowered role than JRRT did. (Also by not including Eowyn’s bone-headed avowal to turn in her sword to go off and make babies and dinners for Faramir.) I love JRRT’s books (as you know ;)) but he stuck it to us hard; I have to hand it to PJ for at least taking the revisions that he made into a positive direction.

  10. dracoena says:

    OK, couldn´t resist and had to add my thoughts.

    White domination is, indeed, a very bad thing. Having the heroes of all our mainstream movies casted as whites is a very impoverishing thing (though I mainly watch Asian movies so it doesn´t affect me a lot). In this particular case, however, there are some things I would like to clarify.

    As a matter of fact, “Avatar” (and don´t get me wrong, I like the series in spite of everything -for what it is), is not manga, or an even remotely Asian product. It was written, produced and broadcasted in the US, and geared for the audience there. It´s SET in a fantasy world with plenty of random Asian elements (whose details have, OK, been better researched than usually), but the heroes behave like complete Americans with Western values. When I see Aang (and this was especially striking for me when I watched the third season in the non-dubbed, original US version) I see a TOTAL American kid who would belong in any other American cartoon if it wasn´t because his head is shaved and he is supposed to be a vegetarian (which isn´t exactly exclusive of Tibetan Buddhist nowadays). In fact, if he would clash somewere, it would be in Tibet.
    He was created this way so American kids would identify with him. And it´s not only the characterisation. All the Messiah and Good Shepherd imagery with sheep included (see Season III, ep 10) doesn´t obviously say a thing to a real Asian. When it comes to a typical (I would say stereotypical, but nonetheless true) aspect of REAL East Asian ideology (the importance of family duty above personal preferences), they ridiculise and demonise it. Same for the equation men=warriors and women=healers in a tribal (Inuit?) society. And the caste division of major Asian societies. And… I could go on.
    I don´t mean that the aforementioned societies are (or were) perfect. But if you show the audience random Asian cultural facts just so the (Western-minded) heroes who do NOT behave like Asians can arrive and prove that they´re wrong, that´s not Asia. It´s Asia-coloured Western fantasy. Any lover of Asian filmography would see what I mean, because in real Asian entertainment, the values are not the same as ours AT ALL. And a movie with white heroes and colourful exotic background is the form that fits this content, in my opinion. If the content had been different, I would have expected a different format, but that was not the case.
    Could the content have been different? In a series for American kids, which is supposed to teach them Values (as opposed to “complicate their young heads with cultural, politically incorrect differences”?) No, of course not. (I was angry at the ending because it was quite trite and disappointing, until someone told me: Hey, it´s a kid series! How did you expect it to end? This applies here too).

    The problem is that there were entirely too many adults watching that series. And that at some point they (I included) felt they should have been taken in account, too.

    Now: would I want a movie with Asian heroes at all? Hm. While I generally prefer Asian actors to Caucasian ones, I suspect that HERE I just wouldn´t tolerate it because of what I said of the content. Asian actors in a traditional Asian background and behaving like modern Americans -gaaah, no, that´s too much! *bangs head against desk* It would infuriate me far more. Personally- that´s just how I am.

    Another thought: This also made me think of another outraging project for the following years, which is the Dragon Ball movie. Apparently, Goku is going to be an American high-school dude, and this has also raised outrage. But here again, there are things to clarify. The original character is Japanese (this is a real manga source), but he had, in turn, been ripped off from a Chinese legend. And when he was ripped off, of course, he was “Japanesified”. In such circumstances, I wonder if one can blame the US for “Americanising” him in turn. This brings me to all the works of literature which have crossed frontiers and become changed in the process. Indian stories were “Arabified” (Arabian Nights), Chinese stories were “Japanesified”, Phoenician and Persian stories were “Grecified”, and apply this to whatever country name is left for me to butcher. 😛 This goes wholly against my personal tastes, because what I enjoy the most is cultural difference. But I can´t blame it, either. *shrugs*

    Last: you were looking for an example which would convey what an Asian person feels against the discrimination of Asian people in Western movies. I have a much better one: watch a Chinese or Japanese movie or series where there are Western people depicted. Enjoy those Asian men playing Western men with fake red moustaches and heavily accented English, and those caricaturesque, ugly and idiotic evil Western villains who always lose against the noble Chinese hero.
    The world is a stupid suburban neighbourhood 😛

  11. Dawn says:

    Dracoena, I appreciate your comments since you know not only this particular show but the entire genre (and the history behind it all) so much better than I. (Though that is somewhat like saying, “Oh! Einstein knows more about physics than a five-year-old!” 😉 But I appreciate your input.)

    Nor do I deny–even as unfamiliar as I am with Avatar–that it was created for a Western audience. I’m afraid, though, that I don’t see how that excuses taking characters who, in their animated forms, most people have always thought looked Asian (even as I recognize that, Avatar being set in a fantasy world, they’re not really Asians) and casting them with a bunch of white kids.

    Because, first, as you point out, Avatar is fantasy. So it’s not as though the show Westernizes actual Asian cultures. I agree that that would be distasteful. And I could see how, especially for people like you who are very knowledgable about Asian culture and history, how that would require you to suspend disbelief too far to enjoy the show. But that is why it works as a fantasy.

    Secondly, Asian people do live in Western culture and, there, uphold Western values. It’s not as though there is a tidy dichotomy of Asian person = Asian values and white person = Western values. Plenty of Asian kids live in North America and Europe; plenty of Asian actors are more familiar with Big Mac and American Idol than anything to do with their ancestors’ culture(s). So I fail to see why those kids watching Avatar and those actors who would have been perfect for such a role do not factor into this discussion. The choice to cast Avatar with all white actors seems to me to be less an insult against Asian people and actors with traditional backgrounds than it is against Asian people and actors from Western nations who relate to the values in Avatar yet are told that, when it comes time to pick heroes, people who look like them will not suffice. Therein lies my problem with the casting for this movie.

    Furthermore, as noted in the post, although the movie could not be cast with Asian actors as leads, Asians were specifically recruited as extras. So I doubt highly that the producers of the movie were thinking that it would be jarring or insulting to Asians to borrow from their culture where it was “cool” but to suggest that Asian people actually uphold Western values. If this were the case, then the movie producers would be putting all white people in the movie, not just as the heroes, using Asians where it creates exotic dressing for the show.

    No, it seems to me that the producers of this movie recognize that people like to see themselves as heroes. And, in choosing not to give Asian kids a chance as heroes, they tell me that they don’t think that Asian kids matter enough in Western culture to get their chance as heroes, despite a market inundated with white-kid heroes. Asian kids do, however, look nice in the background. I’m sorry, but I can’t see anything redeeming in that notion whatsoever.

  12. dracoena says:

    Hi back!

    I didn´t mean that I saw anything redeeming in the notion of white heroes in a movie about Asian fantasy. It´s just that I feel that it takes the Westernization of the content (Asians behaving like Americans) to the plane of the form. If the audience sees a white actor playing an Asian they can always laugh at the absurdity or feel indignated, but if they see an Asian actor in an Asian background behaving like an American, chances are that they will just find it normal, and feel, once again, that the whole world thinks and behaves like them. The more subtle the outrage is, the most dangerous, one could say.

    Secondly, Asian people do live in Western culture and, there, uphold Western values. It’s not as though there is a tidy dichotomy of Asian person = Asian values and white person = Western values. Plenty of Asian kids live in North America and Europe; plenty of Asian actors are more familiar with Big Mac and American Idol than anything to do with their ancestors’ culture(s).

    That´s of course true for Asians living in North America and Europe. But the societies in “Avatar” are depicted as traditional Asian societies, so their caracters shouldn´t, ideally, know anything about Big Mac or American Idol or, at the most, think they are the names of foreign deities. :)

    As for the audience: if they´re Asians living outside their culture, what I said about Western audiences applies to them. Seeing an Asian world with Western ideologies and behaviours will make them think that all the world is like the place where they live, as much or more as the indignant cast fiasco. More -if they see white people casted as Asians, they will (and they have) become indignant and feel insulted; if they see them behave like Americans, some, or many of them won´t even notice (depending of the level of disconnection with their original culture).

    Before it starts to seem as if I feel that Avatar is Western supremacy tripe, *cough* I think nothing of the sort. Of course not. It was a Western show for Western kids, and cultural accuracy was never its point. At that age that´s – just not the point. It was nice enough that they took the trouble to investigate and take real exotical elements to build their fantasy, and drew characters that the audience could perceive as Asian. And I understand that it is offensive to have those characters casted as white actors because of marketing reasons (And insulting -all the Western teenagers who get acquainted with J-pop idols and the such are rabid about them, fandom knows no races). But for me, who like Asia as it is (though I´m very far from being an expert, as you dub me *blush*), to have this turned into a pseudo-Asian movie where the only Asian thing are the names, the background and the colour of the skin, is nothing to write home about either, and it may even look mildly distressing. Plus, I have the idea that something so glaring as the casting choices will raise a stir and question some stereotypes, while the content issues (which are stereotypical as well, and more subtly so) won´t even be mentioned. So that´s why I mention them. :)

  13. The Lady Templar says:

    You’re right. White people don’t want to see movies with coloured people…because they are constantly shoved down our throats. Not to mention that, in your little anti-white tirade, that coloured people are put into traditionally white roles – for example, look at the Karate Kid. The remake was done solely for multiculturalism, not for realism. The fact is, your little “anti-racism” has no ground especially when the people you protect are far more racist than whites.

    Let’s start off, shall we?

    “Internalized racism and the colonized mind” – First off, racism exists. And in all races. It simply means a preference for one’s own race. Asians prefer Asians and Arabs prefer Arabs. No problem. Yet when a white person wants to be alone with his own people, that is racist because we’re responsible for all the evils in the world, right?

    Wrong. I don’t see you blaming the Turks for their racism against whites or blacks or blacks against their own people. Whites didn’t start slavery; it existed for thousands of years before whites even stepped foot on the continent. Not to mention that fewer than 5% even made it to America. Personal accounts from African migrants to America prove that slavery by the white thing was the best thing that ever happened to them. And the Africans sold themselves to slavers, who were also African. But I don’t see you mentioning that because it was either you didn’t know it or you purposely ignored it to rail against white people.

    Blacks are far more racist than whites. Despite whites doing their best to stay away from them, blacks actively seek out whites and batter them senselessly in hate crimes. Blacks are also the only ones to rape elderly white women. But I don’t see you mentioning that. Blacks make up a minority of the population, yet since 1866 made up the majority of the crime. Racism? Nope. Savagery. African savagery.

    You complain that movies have too many white people, yet ignore when whites are replaced by coloureds or blacks. For example, Nick Fury was originally white, but made black because the media needed a “strong black role model”. It isn’t so much whiteness taking over, it’s “oppressed minorities” taking over whites. There are hardly any movies were there are no magic black people or blacks in unrealistic roles. Institutional racism? Nope. Multiculturalism.

    You state that whites need to band against such racism. For a movie? Made by a coloured person? WOW. Talk about racism. As said before, you fail to include the racism of other races, including the Japanese racism of the Chinese and vice versa. But that’s OK since they’re coloured, right? And it’s bad that a majority of Third Worlders make up the top percentages of those who buy whitening products? Well, yeah! Of course it is! They’re trying to be white!

    I see no criticizing of the Ottoman Empire or any other Empire for their racism, because only white people can be racist, right?

    You know what they say: anti-racist is code for anti-white. If you don’t like how white everything is, you can move to Africa and enjoy diversity. But then again, you state that skin colour doesn’t matter, so what’s the hoopla about? Why are you making such a stink about skin colour?

    Because you’re racist – against whites. You hate us for everything and blame us for everything. Yet everything you love, all the literature you read down to the tampon that protects your dignity was made from whites. Laws, typing, respect and dignity are all Western values. Yet you can’t respect that.

    EDITED BY MODERATOR Nothing to see here.

  14. Dawn says:

    Lady Templar, I have attempted to email you, but the email you are using here bounced twice. So I am letting you know that you have now posted three comments that are in violation of site rules. I edited this one for you to make it compliant (you’re welcome) and emailed you before you wasted your time further, but as noted, the email bounced. I have removed the other two comments and, as is the policy described in the link above, with the third infraction, blocked you from posting here.

    You are welcome to share any views here that you want. I don’t agree with you, as is abundantly obvious, but you can share your opinions here if you want. Personal attacks, however, are not acceptable. If you can post your opinions without name-calling me, other posters on the site, or groups of people with whom you disagree, then your comments are welcome. Otherwise, this site is not FF.net, and we practice civility here and act like grown-ups.

    If you think you can do that and want commenting privileges reinstated, you can contact me. However, that will be your final chance before your commenting privileges are gone for good.

Leave a Reply