Thursday, April 2, 2009
Racism = alive and well
(image by the talented Gene Yang)
"This past Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration, I discovered that the casting of the four leading characters for the upcoming live-action movie, "The Last Airbender" (based on the TV show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”) had gone entirely to white actors. I want—no, need—to say something about this." - Derek Kim, New Day in Politics, Same Old Racist World on the Silver Screen
"intentionally or not, they are adding another chapter to Hollywood’s long, sordid history of Yellowface. By giving white actors roles that are so obviously Asian - and by stating from the get-go their preference for Caucasians - they tell Asian-Americans that who we are and how we look make us inherently inadequate for American audiences, even in a movie that celebrates our culture. Like the schoolboy who pulls up the corners of his eyes at his "Oriental" classmate, they highlight our otherness." - Gene Luen Yang, The Last Airbender Casting Controversy
""What frustrates us most is that you had this amazing opportunity -- you've got a nation of fans who love this quintessentially Asian story," says Kim. "This could have broken down every barrier in the business, proving you can have an all-Asian cast and score three blockbuster successes. Instead, we just get three more chances to cringe."" - Jeff Yang, Bent Out of Shape
To get involved or read more about the organizing going on around this issue, visit Saving the World with Postage or Racebending.com, where the letter-writing and protest campaigns are centered.