Do you remember the Super (Bowl) trailer for ‘Airbender?’

Feb. 09, 2010 | 8:17 p.m.

So, according to a poll on MovieTickets.com, which admittedly only talked to about 550 people, the most memorable trailer during Sunday’s Super Bowl was “Alice in Wonderland” — remembered by 81% of the people who watched. That was followed by “Robin Hood” at 67% and “Shutter Island” at 63%. The first trailer shown, “The Last Airbender,” was memorable mostly because, while I watched it, I forgot about the casting hate that’s been heaped on director M. Night Shyamalan.

For those of us who like fun, action-filled romps (like “Ninja Assassin”) that might not have the most cerebral story lines or “tight” filmmaking, this looks great. Who knows about the acting or story lines yet for “Airbender,” but for sheer eye candy, it (to me) rivaled the rest. Here’s the half-minute spot that ran.

– Jevon Phillips

Airbender poster

M. Night has a sense about “The Last Airbender”

Uma Thurman and her hissing hair

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Comments


24 Responses to Do you remember the Super (Bowl) trailer for ‘Airbender?’

  1. Rich says:

    "For those of us who like fun, action-filled romps (like "Ninja Assassin") that might not have the most cerebral story lines or "tight" filmmaking, this looks great."
    Umm… I don't know if you realize this or not, but the original cartoon (Avatar: The Last Airbender) has an AMAZING storyline (and there is plenty of evidence that M. Night is following it closely), and as for "tight" filmmaking… Have you ever seen an M. Night movie? Whether you like them or not, M. Night is a master of photography and has amazing visuals and scenes in his shots. Take Signs for instance: When Mel Gibson was peeking under the door of that house looking for an alien… That was an amazingly shot scene. Even The Happening (The Crappening?) had amazing shots, never mind the retarded story.
    Also, this should prove to be VERYaction packed as the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender has plenty of fighting scenes as well as a few large scale, army on army battles. In fact, the final battle in this movie should be amazing and if M. Night does it right, we'll all be cheering for Aang to go all "Avatar State" and destroy the Fire Nation with his awesomeness!

  2. Marissa says:

    There are very legitimate concerns from fans about the way the production of "The Last Airbender" discriminated against actors of color in its casting. Their side of the story does not get much press in the mainstream media, but it's a fair concern when a production takes characters of colors–lead roles that could have gone to underrepresented actors of color–and specifically recruits and casts actors who are white.
    Please do not simplify the feelings of the people concerned to simply "hate."

  3. Ren says:

    It's very unfortunate that you would refer to people's concerns about the casting as 'hate', as though they are simply rabid fans with nothing better to do than bitch. These are very, very legitimate concerns when you consider the lack of diversity in Hollywood. It's hard enough for people of colour to secure leading roles in big budget films. In fact despite a handful of already established and accepted actors like Will Smith (and kids), Denzel etc., actors of colour are rarely given the same chance to star in big budget movies as their white counterparts.
    So here you have Avatar the Last Airbender, a show with settings based off of a plethora of Asian and Inuit cultures, with brown characters and people who practice Asian martial arts styles and read Chinese characters and eat with chopsticks. This could have been the perfect opportunity to give Asian and Inuit actors a chance to star in a big budget Hollywood movie.
    Instead, they were relegated to the background while white people were given the leading roles. Oh and let's not forget the scary brown villains.
    This type of casting hurts a lot of people, takes jobs away from people who need and deserve them, and only perpetuates an unfair racial hierarchy. So no, our concerns are not just 'hate'. Don't dismiss them as such.

  4. Jo says:

    It's almost ironic that you're calling it "casting 'hate'". I'd like to think that Paramount's been giving off some hate of its own, casting an obviously Asian mythos adaptation with whites as the heroes and Asians as the villains and extras. For the record, the casting controversy isn't about fans whining about the adaptation. I would understand that changes are made to any movie. Hell, with M. Night on board, I was expecting it.
    What I, and plenty of fans and non-fans alike weren't expecting was a whitewashed cast. And hell, most of us weren't blaming M. Night Shyamalan, until he announced how casting pale Nicola Peltz as the very tan Katara was HIS idea. There's a lot of reasons and a lot of people who made the casting the way it is. But that doesn't make it any less wrong and racist.
    More information here:
    http://www.racebending.com/

  5. John says:

    Frankly, I am sick and tired of people constantly trivializing this issue and trying to tell the anti-casters that their protest against this movie is idiotic.
    Why is it right for this movie to come out with a casting call to show preference for whites? The casting calls actually said "Caucasian or any other ethnicity". Why is it ok for M. Night to choose white actors to play characters who clearly look Asian or Native American? It is not right! All main leads were originally all white and I don't care if Jesse McCartney dropped out. He is the perfect example of just how bad the casting for this movie was. Oh sure M. Night may have replaced Jesse McCartney with an Asian, but the wrong type. Zuko is East Asian, not South Asian and now the all the "evil" firebenders get to be dark-skinned instead of whitewashed.
    Frankly, I think the people telling the anti-casters to shut it need a reality check.

  6. Renee says:

    The problem with the casting isn't specific to The Last Airbender; it's an example of the institutional racism that is very much alive and well in this country. The idea that Neutral = White is constantly seen in media and in day to day life and it is insidious in that many people simply accept it as "the way things are."
    I would like to point out that Paramount has shown little of the characters Sokka and Katara in promotional material. Pictures with them in shadows, quick little cuts in the trailers; rather odd when Jason Rathbone – who should be a big promotional actor since he was in the Twilight movies – is getting shoved into the background. Perhaps they know that promoting a white actor who is portraying a character that is based on Inuit people may not be the best marketing angle?
    The movie is also promoting the "White Savior" trope since all three of the heroes are white while the villains and background characters are people of color. Take another view of that trailer and see if you can tell what makes Sokka and Katara different from the rest of their tribe – they're white while the rest of the tribe, people they are supposed to be related to, are not. Zuko, the villain, is the character with one of the darkest complexions in the entire cast. This is the nature of institutional racism; white equals good, while dark equals evil.

  7. Erikonil says:

    Speaking as someone who saw 'Ninja Assassin' and who loves a good dumb action flick, I couldn't disagree with you more. Describing the casting issue as "hate" is nothing but a straw man that people often throw out when they don't want to think about ramifications that popular culture has on people and especially children.
    The crew for this film intentionally sought out white actors for two characters who are undeniably dark skinned in the original show. They also intentionally sought out people of color for background actors. Check the trailer and you'll see two white heroes surrounded by extras who are all real life Inuit.
    What was the reasoning for this? Did they think fans would pass on an adaption of a show they loved because non whites would be in it? Did they toss out that whole "people won't identify with non whites" argument? Why did they need to default all the heroes in an Asian based world to white?
    Things like this may not affect a white person, but it has a seriously negative impact on children of color who don't see people like themselves as heroes in films. What does it say when you have a child who finally sees a character like Katara who's dark skinned like her and then when it comes to playing her in real life you say that only a white girl can do it? This girl might be Chinese American, Japanese American, African American, Native American or Indian American, but the reaction is the same. It tells them that no matter what, white is always better.
    As a white person, I've never had this issue. There's always been tons of white heroes on the screen for me to see, but thats not the case with a growing number of the American population. I may not experience racism, but I'm not naive enough to be able to ignore it. It's there and it's something that needs to be addressed.

  8. Dilbert says:

    Yes, there is plenty of hate. It goes well beyond whatever legitimate concerns these people may have. If one doubts the hate, just read the comments they spew everywhere, and particularly at their own site. Where they genuinely speak hate towards Shayamalan and undeniably wish failure on a project that involves hundreds, maybe thousands of people. They are utterly convinced of the rightness of their position and toss abundant hate at anyone who sees things differently.
    Of course, they don't really know who made what decisions for this project, or how the film's script plays out, but they have decided it will all suck. Sorry guys, that's not righteous progressive action, that's emotion, that's hate.

  9. Kateryn says:

    It's unfortunate that you would label a desire for greater diversity in Hollywood as "hate."
    Sokka and Katara (the characters played by Jackson Rathbone and Nicola Peltz) were unabashedly brown in the original cartoon. And now they are unabashedly white. What justification does Hollywood have for this? Couldn't find a qualified brown actor because they didn't bother to look? Wouldn't hire a brown actor because of course any film with a brown actor in it is doomed to failure by the simple fact that the studio won't back it like they would a film with a white actor? Or is it because an entire continent and half of people can't act? There was nothing wrong with Sokka and Katara being brown to begin with; I don't know what Hollywood was thinking.
    We live in a country where a black man can be president, and a film with unknown Indian actors can become a commercial and critical success (Slumdog Millionaire), but Asians and Inuits still can't be cast at the leads in a film that features their cultures?

  10. Jo says:

    @ Dilbert:
    Yeah, there are quite a few people that get emotional about this issue, especially on the website. Things like racism do that to people, and yes, quite a few snips are uncalled for.
    And… the whole point of a boycott is hoping the movie will fail. Hopefully if it does, Paramount will get the picture that this is NOT okay. I do feel sorry for people involved in this production and NOT the racefail. If it wasn't for that I would be supporting this production.
    But to trivialize the entire racebending movement as "hate" like this article does is uncalled for. Yeah there are genuinely hateful comments done by some people, just like there are plenty of pro-casters who say very racist and hurtful things. But when you start saying a whole group of people act a certain way, well, it's not like we're not going to stand up and say something to counter it, whether it's the pro/anti casting debate or racial stereotypes.

  11. Erikonil says:

    @Dilbert
    Off hand, what hateful comments are you referring to? I checked out the link to the Racebending.com website and I found nothing but well thought out articles and a rather convincing argument to their cause.
    Why do I get this feeling that you haven't actually looked at it yourself.
    If you had, you would have seen what I found where they have an extinctive collection of the studio's own casting calls and interviews where they do indeed show a preference for white actors.
    http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/caucasia
    If I were you Mr Dilbert, I would read before you spout off what some may consider hateful comments about people who only seem passionate about fighting for true equality in a system that overwhelmingly favors whites.

  12. JC says:

    Get ready dude, now you're about to get a lot of these crazy "racebenders" coming on here and spitting their usual BS.
    It's laughable at how full of crap these people are. Typical for the ATLA fandom, that's why no one takes them seriously.

  13. nemogbr says:

    @AngryAzin:
    From reading your post, you sound very much like a person who desires to derail every intelligent point the fans, who do not support this Paramount film, have made.
    We know that Dev Patel is British Asian of Indian descent. He is of South Asian descent.
    The series was primarily of East Asian characters and Inuit/Yupik cultures. The Guru from the 3rd Season was percieved to be of South Asian extraction.

  14. John says:

    "Get ready dude, now you're about to get a lot of these crazy "racebenders" coming on here and spitting their usual BS.
    It's laughable at how full of crap these people are. Typical for the ATLA fandom, that's why no one takes them seriously."
    It's laughable how full of crap are you. I feel bad for you man, you're such an idiot. I guess I shouldn't be offended you posted such a BS post.
    How about reading the comments before so you don't form such idiotic opinions and maybe people can take YOU more seriously Mr. JC.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Please ignore angry azin, as he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about, and clearly doesn't know the original roots behind the swastika before the Nazis corrupted it. But the Racebending protesters are not just a bunch of whiny fans like JC would have you believe. Discrimination is a serious issue, and nothing will be done about it unless Hollywood realizes they will lose money if they continue their racist practices, because money is only language Hollywood speaks. We won't be silent, we won't go away, and we won't be trivialized or talked down to.

  16. Fetchen says:

    @Dilbert
    “If one doubts the hate, just read the comments they spew everywhere, and particularly at their own site. Where they genuinely speak hate towards Shayamalan and undeniably wish failure on a project that involves hundreds, maybe thousands of people. They are utterly convinced of the rightness of their position and toss abundant hate at anyone who sees things differently.”
    “Hate” is a very loaded word, especially when the context includes race, and should be supported with facts if accusing people of “tossing” it around. Expressing a contrary opinion is not “tossing hate,” and I would love to see posted examples from the site.
    As to the protests about the casting, the publicly released casting calls undeniably show preference for white actors, while the casting calls for extras were for actors of color. Shayamalan himself has said that the casting of Aang and Katara where HIS choices, not choices hoisted upon him by the studio. People unhappy with the direction of this film feel so because:
    1. Obvious characters of color have been cast as white. The villains – who were not the darkest skinned people in the cartoon – are now the darkest skinned by virtue of the fact that they are all actors of color.
    2. The Chinese characters used in the cartoon have been replaced by a gibberish scrawl.
    3. The highly researched Kung Fu martial arts that were the basis of the bending styles have been replaced by fight choreographers with little to no experience with Asian martial arts in general, much less Kung Fu in particular.
    4. The highly researched Asian clothing (Han Chinese for the Fire Nation, the Tibetan Buddhist monk robes for the Air Nation, etc.) have been replaced by generic versions. So far the Fire Nation costumes have shown influences that range from Roman to the Riders of Rohan.
    5. Characterizations have been massively changed from the cartoon. Shayamalan has said that Sokka – the comic relief – is being made a serious straight man. Aang, who is characterized as a smiling child when not in combat, is wearing a dour and serious expression in EVERY photo of him put out so far.
    6. From what Shayamalan has said about the plot, he wants to emphasize the politics and downplay the martial arts and comedy. Seriously, in a movie that’s supposed to be aimed to a kid/teen audience, they want to emphasize politics and downplay martial arts and comedy? I would point out that very few people thought that the Senate procedural and Trade Federation scenes in the Star Wars prequels were the highlights. People geek out over the fight scenes between Obi-Wan/Darth Maul and Yoda/Count Doku.
    Avatar: The Last Airbender is a Peabody Award winning cartoon that received praise for its portrayal of primary characters of color. This cartoon represented a chance for children of color to have heroes that they could emulate on the big screen. While that may sound silly to some, I would recommend taking a look at the many videos posted by fans (not activists) on YouTube expressing their disappointment in the casting. Many of these fans are parents as well and have had to address the issue of whitewashing with their children. While you may see the race issue as silly, I would recommend you take a look at the study done sixty years ago by Kenneth and Mamie Clark about children and race perception and how their experiment was repeated in 2006 to the same results.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_and_Mamie_Clark

  17. Kenneth says:

    Casting "hate," you say? It's not hate, it's hurt. Here was a script written for people of Asian descent, and the roles were given to white folks yet again. To ignore such a perfect opportunity to give children of all backgrounds some diverse role models… You gotta wonder what M. Night is thinking.

  18. angry azin says:

    We, asians, are greatly offended by these wrecthed movie (which i’m not gonna see i will tell everyone not to).
    Zuko is supposed to be asian and asian only. Indian doesn’t cut it!.. Indians are poor replacements for asians, yes, MNighty i am talking to you.
    And Aang is supposed to asian too. Yet he played by some texan white boy. How stupid can one be to not to get it?
    At least now that we know how he looks like we (offended asians, protesters and members of racebending campaign) can find him in real life, talk to him, and make him not to destroy his life with involvement in this stupic pile of crap that this movie is going to be (no need to look into crystal ball to know it: it was destroyed the moment casted their first non-asian actor in what was supposed to be all-asian cast).
    Katara and Sokka are supposed to be asians as well. Come on! Everyone are!
    Only racists can think that there is a place for a single non-asian actor in this movie.
    Apparently, that is exactly who all of the crew of this horrible movie are.
    I’m asian and now they’re going to destroy what was going to be the best thing that Asia could give to USA and a rest of the world. I would never got my self interested in a show if it hasn’t featured people who look like me (slanted eyes, tan), because it just would be deep enoough.
    Take hits of the last years.
    Transformers? They’re making an apaptation of originally japanese-made show, and they don’t have a single asian in the cast???… Stupidissimo.
    Dark Knight? All asians that are in the movie are villains (that mob bookkeeper and chinese cops). Stupid movie.
    Sin City. The only asian in a movie was a killer and sword master (oh! the stereotypes!!! how come all roles asians can get in hollywood are swords master or kung-fu masters!! i hate those stereotype!! every single movie that has an asian as a kung-fu master is bad by definition). And she even had a shuriken shaped like a german swastika!! Can it get more offensive that that? Of course i haven’t watched the movie, but due to reasons listed above it can’t be good.
    Even “Up”, which hit the theaters this week is racist — it features asian boy who looks stupid and inferior to some white old guy. I didn’t watched “Up” because of just that (and am not gonna to — i won’t — the movie is bad cause it’s racist and that’s it).
    This practive needs to be stopped. We must stop Hollywood from doing this. We must hire lawyers and bring multi-million suits for every second movie they’re doing becase every other movie they make is a obvious and offense in our faces.

  19. JC says:

    @John
    *yawns* Typical racebender" dumb@ss. "WAH!!! HE MADE FUN OF ME AND MY IDIOTIC WAYS!!" You idiots wouldn't know racism and discrimination if it came up and bit you in your fat behinds. So shut the hell up. You're not "fighting discrimination" you're throwing a hissy fit because you're not getting your way. Again, typical for the Avatar fandom.
    It must be sad knowing that no matter how much you bItch and moan, the movies are still going to be made and they're going to do well, while you and your band of idiots are being made into a laughing stock. (Oops, too late, you already are)

  20. Alex says:

    Wow…it would appear that people are completely voicing off on, what they see as, a racist attitude on Hollywood’s part for the casting of this movie. Hopefully I can bring a new idea to this talk…
    First, if you are a person who is a part of this “Expose Hollywood’s racism” movement and you are not a fan of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender tv series, then you just need to leave. You need to stop talking about this movie. Why? Because you obviously do not care about this movie or this story. You probably won’t even see the movie when it comes out. All you care about is furthering your agenda and trying to get a media attention. Well do it with something else because I know that plenty of die-hard Avatar fans, like myself, are getting tired of this subject being the only thing people talk about with this movie. We just want to see something that we care very much about made into the best movie possible and would prefer if people stop distracting from it to focus on something that is an argument that could be made for any movie.
    Also, this movie is…(if you hadn’t noticed in every ad or trailer for the film)…an M. NIGHT SHYMALAN production. When Night gets involved in a movie, he is involved in EVERYTHING. Meaning he was involved in the casting decisions; probably even picked out the lead roles. That is why I find it extremely silly for people to insinuate that this movie is purposefully propagating an All-Caucasian-Hollywood-Perspective when Night, an Indian-American minority himself, is at the helm of this movie. He is, I am sure, well aware of any racist tendencies towards minorities in film lead roles. Yet, he is also trying to make the best movie possible and believes that he has found the best people for it.
    Next, if you are a fan of the original series and are still caught up in this cry-racism-movement then you should understand something. This series was created by Brian Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. They also happen to be the Exec Producers of this new film, meaning if they felt strongly that there was wrong-doing in the casting of the film they would have done something to fix it. They haven’t. Working on this live-action adaptation are many people who LOVE the original series and would not want to do anything to harm it or taint it in anyway. They care about the story and have tried to find the best people they can to help portray this story that they love.
    I am also tired of people saying that the only people of color in this film are the “bad guys” meaning Dev Patel as Prince Zuko and the rest of the Fire Nation. If you knew anything about this story you would know that Zuko…(spoiler alert) becomes an ally of ‘Team Avatar’ in the story and ends as a hero himself while re-uniting the Fire Nation under a new, good and peace-loving ruler. To say that the people playing the Fire Nation are people of color because the Fire Nation are the evil ones in the film shows a complete lack of knowledge about the original story.
    If you aren’t an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan then find something else to use as your example of pushing your agenda.
    If you are an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, then please stop stomping on this movie before it has even come out. If you are a true fan then you love this story and you should trust that the people who made this amazing story will continue to capture the beauty of it in this new adaptation.

  21. Sharkman says:

    “-I forgot about the casting hate that’s been heaped on director M. Night Shyamalan.”
    If you forgot about the casting controversy just from the trailer, then you haven’t made the attempt to actually understand what it’s about, or you simply don’t care. Something I can only assume is the case, since you boiled the whole problem down to “hate.”
    Quite frankly, it’s not so simple an issue. The protest movement isn’t just a few fans ranting and raving online, there have been actual physical protests, a letter writing campaign, a documentary, and we have the support of a number of watchdog groups like the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (who’s former vice president was on board the original show to help avoid Asian stereotypes) and the Japanese American Citizen’s League.
    We’ve even reached people in Hollywood itself, like comedian Margaret Cho, Filmmaker Perry Shen, and Film Critic Roger Ebert, and gotten statements from them.
    To condense it down to “casting hate directed at M. Night” oversimplifies things, and doesn’t address Paramount Studios’ role in all this. It’s akin to people in the earlier comments like JC and “angry azin” (who might be the same person) calling the movement “Crazy” or coming on and acting all over the top to mock the whole thing.
    Even if they’re not the same person:
    @ JC:
    If nobody took the protest seriously, it wouldn’t have managed to reach the ears of Paramount’s new CEO, Adam Goodman. Thanks to their involvement with the protest, the MANAA and JACL were able to bring fan concerns over “The Last Airbender” when they met with Goodman about the protest over “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.”
    Thanks to that, they’ve scheduled a new meeting to specifically discuss TLA, as well as allowing them an advance screening.
    http://manaa.blogspot.com/2009/11/manaa-and-jacl-meet-with-paramount.html
    http://www.racebending.com/v3/community/meeting-report-apa-coalition-meets-with-paramount/
    Is that being taken seriously, yet?
    @angry azin:
    Dude, try harder next time if you’re actually trying to mock something. Maybe you won’t come off as ignorant, then.
    (For the record, the protest movement and it’s affiliated groups greatly enjoyed “Up!” Heartwarming story, but it also actually had an Asian American lead character who wasn’t somehow ostracized or marked as different by his ethnicity. Not only that, but they hired on Jordan Nagai to voice him, a Japanese-American kid.)

  22. Sharkman says:

    @Alex:
    I hate to make a second post so soon but you’re overlooking a few things.
    First, personally, I’m a huge fan of the show, and so are the protesters. The fact that you think there are people furthering some anti-Hollywood agenda with no love for the show only displays ignorance on your part.
    Second, M. Night isn’t some sort of Indian-American Spike Lee. He hasn’t once made a movie starring a non-white protagonist, and you know what? He doesn’t have to. There are plenty of Asians who don’t care about the casting issues, just as there are plenty of Whites, Latinos, and Blacks who are protesting. Even Jeff Ma, the *real* leader of the team of Asian MIT students had no trouble with Jim Sturgess playing “him,” in the movie 21. He straight up didn’t care about the race issue, even when it involved his *own* race, he just wanted to be part of the whole thing.
    Third, Zuko’s redeeming qualities aside, he’s an antagonist for 4/5ths of the series, he doesn’t join until the second half of the third and final season. What are we supposed to see now, Zuko join them in the very last movie when he realizes the white heroes were right all along in opposing his homeland?
    Fourth, about Mike and Bryan: Being an executive producer doesn’t mean you can do anything about the movie. *Real* executive producers handle business and legal issues, and have no creative say over the actual film itself, and the *real* Exec Producer for this movie is Kathleen Kennedy, wife of the Producer Frank Marshall. Otherwise, it’s just a title, usually given to the original author of a work they’re adapting or something, and that’s what Mike and Bryan are for this film. The mere fact that Mike and Bryan *haven’t* said anything is more noteworthy. They’re under non-disclosure agreements, meaning they can’t say anything that either spoils the movie, or makes it look bad. We all know how the saying goes when you can’t say anything nice.
    One of them, I think Mike, even said on the MySpace for his music project that he had nothing to do with the casting, so where are you getting the info that they’re *fine* with it?
    In fact, *nobody* is involved in the creative aspects of this film if they were ever a part of the show, except for Dee Bradley Baker, who voices Appa and Momo in the show and movie.
    Just a few examples:
    Mike and Bryan: Storyboarded M. Night’s script back in ’07/’08, have had nothing to do with the movie since, and have said little to nothing about the movie whatsoever.
    Sifu Kisu: Wasn’t approached to do any of the Martial Arts for the movie, they hired on Ben Cooke instead. By the way, he’s a supporter of the protest, we caught up with him at San Diego Comic Con last year to confirm this.
    Dr. S. L. Lee: He’s the professor who did all the Chinese Calligraphy for the show, but they told him that they’re going to use a made up language and had no need for his input. He’s a supporter of the protest movement, we’ve even interviewed him.
    Giancarlo Volpe: Director of many episodes of the show, you can hear him on the commentary for a lot of them. He was one of the early people decrying the casting as soon as it was announced.
    Jessie Flower: Voice actress for both Toph and Meng in the show. At SakuraCon, she let it be known that all the voice actors were specifically barred from trying out for any of the roles.
    Dante Basco: Voice actor for Zuko. No official statement since Dev Patel replaced first choice *Jessie McCartney* for Zuko, but he and Mako, voice actor for Iroh, were big names in the East West Players, a theatre and acting troupe dedicated to getting Asians more meaningful and plentiful roles on the stage or silver screen. I doubt he’d say anything to jeopardize his career, but I doubt he’s happy about any of this.
    Hell, even “Avatar Mom” one of the ladies who was interviewed during the “Women of Avatar” segment on the DVD extras is a part of the dang protest, so who exactly is involved that “loves the show” so much if they’re willing to ditch many of the things that made it unique in the first place? Is it Jackson Rathbone? The guy who can’t even pronounce his own character’s name right? Noah Ringer? The kid who M. Night chose for his martial arts audition tape (over kids like Perris Aquino, Issac Jin Solstein and Brandon Soo Hoo), and brought in for acting lessons, only to have Asian American stuntWOMAN Jade Quon do all the fight scenes? Is it Dev Patel? The *second* choice after teen pop sensation Jessie McCartney left the movie of his own volition, but not before saying the show was made in Japan?
    Best actors, indeed.
    This isn’t the Avatar: The Last Airbender we came to love. This is M. Night Shyamalan’s: The Last Airbender, and it seems that the two have only the slightest details in common.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Really, JC? Exactly WHO is having a hissy fit now?
    You hear that sound? It's irony. Next time try to post without sounding like an absolute wanker, thanks. Why don't you make an intelligent argument instead of posting mindless drivel? Or is that not possible?

  24. jerry says:

    The concern over the casting is legitimate. Hollywood has a history of "whitewashing" over ethnic characters. For a story that took place in far-east mythology, the casting really stands out for all the wrong reasons.
    It just looks strange to cute blue-eyed kids playing characters that are essentially eskimos and buddhist child monks.
    I think people have become so jaded by accusations of racism, that legitimate cases like this one are ridiculed or ignored. But people need to understand what institutional racism is and why is can be even more destructive to the idea of fairness and equality than overt racism which is in ways much easier to confront and denounce.

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