Anime Simply Unbelievable

The 108th Reason Most Hollywood Movies Suck a.k.a Aang Ain’t White!

If you don’t know about the controversy surrounding The Last Airbender, I am here to inform you. Firstly I must say that I strongly encourage you to boycott this movie! Do not waste your precious hard-earned money on movie tickets if you are in support of diversity in media. I’ll also add that you please don’t even bother watching a pirated version of this movie, if you are interested in Avatar: The Last Airbender, please watch the cartoon series.

For background information, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a cartoon series heavily based on Asian and Inuit culture. The poster above pretty much says it all, the creators of the cartoon are American however they chose to set the series in a world that was heavily inspired by Asian and Inuit culture. Now M. Night Shyamalan has decided to bring this cartoon to life with a movie that basically has all white actors in lead even though the characters these actors are portraying are certainly not white. Of course, it is no coincidence that the villain happens to be Indian. These pictures from Racialicious illustrate the point.

Posted by Picasa

The only thing the actors have in common with the characters are the eyes except in Zuko’s case…

I will admit that I don’t watch the cartoon series, I caught a few episodes on television while I was at my friends house but never got into it (I don’t own a tv). Despite this I’m sick and tired of the whitewashing of characters of colour. I’ve mentioned that Xena the warrior princess of the television series was based on Queen Amina of Zaria, who needless to say was African. And then there was the Dragonball Z movie where the Monkey King became a Caucasian. This is the Monkey King we’re talking about here. Goku for heavens sake!! Excuse while I shed tears in misery ;___;

Am I the only person who gets tired seeing mostly white people everywhere in movies? And when there are minorities, they are usually heavily stereotyped or caricatured. I made a conscious decision to diversify the movies I watch last year. I just wish movies were more diverse because I believe it really will not hurt anybody. If I had been exposed to diverse media as a child, I would never have spent the early years of my life writing books where my main characters were always blond with blue eyes. It hurts diversity when characters that are clearly people of colour are blatantly whitewashed. If the casting for the movie had remained true to the cartoon I would have bought it. However this is just a huge disappointment.

Does Hollywood not know that these movies are consumed all over the world? I find it difficult to believe that it doesn’t. Will it kill them to have people of colour starring in this movie? I think not. I don’t buy the argument that white actors help sell movies. That’s just a big lie. How does that explain the success of Bollywood or Korean dramas and movies such as Oldboy and Hong Kong movies such as Infernal Affairs. I know Hollywood has remakes of some of these movies, for those who don’t know The Departed was based on Infernal Affairs and I encourage you to watch the original, it is better by far (my unbiased opinion, I watched The Departed before I watched Infernal Affairs and I like both of them but the latter is better).

I have actually heard people make such comments as ‘Maybe there were no Asian-American actors interested in the movie’. I’m calling BS to that. Please let’s be real, Hollywood is racist plain and simple, it has a long history of casting white actors in obviously Asian roles (the Kung Fu tv series anyone?). Are these people trying to suggest that there are NO Asian-American or Inuit actors looking for work? And I’ll say that the people in charge of casting this movie know exactly what they are doing. Why are the main characters white while the villain is Asian? What is up Hollywood?

I’m sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense, I’m just tired of being disappointed by the lack of diversity on the big screen. I sincerely hope this movie flops. It certainly will not be getting any of my money. To learn more about the whitewashing of Avatar, please check out the following links:
The White Cast of Avatar:The Last Airbender
Avatar: Get a Tan, Become Asian
White Washing
Saving the World With Postage
Avatar: The Last Airbender Culture Comparison
M. Night, say it isn’t so!


  1. You really are in touch with your Asian affairs! I agree with your post. I think minority actors as a whole get treated badly, there can only be one Will Smith but we can have Jim Carrey, Steve Martin, Jack Black, Steve Carell (the list is endless). I do think that it is not hollywood to blame but rather us, the consumer. I went to see Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (Martin Lawrence) with my sister. First sign of trouble – the guy selling tickets at the cinema didn’t know what movie we were talking about until I pointed it out on the screen!! Then in a 300 seat movie theatre, do you know how many people were there…..2 (my sister and myself)!!If we don’t do more to support these movies with minority actors then they will not be successful. Equally minority actors need to step up their game and demand larger roles in mainstream acting.

  2. haha thanks a lot. i imagine myself as a fangirl seeking justice in live action adaptations of anime :Dand you raise a valid point with the costumer. but it’s a chicken and egg thing to me. who started this first? are we the consumer so used to seeing certain people on our screen because of hollywood? or does hollywood put these people on screen because of us? i personally blame casting directors for crimes such as the one in the post. and i seriously believe hollywood is racist because of crimes such as the one in the post.i know for sure that i support minority actors. the thing is i’ve never heard of Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. that’s so interesting. i think the marketing of movies is also another serious issue. i tend to follow my favourite actors on imdb so i know which films to watch. and i’ve not been a Martin Lawrence fan since he performed as Big Momma.not to mention i’m a very picky person anyway i just needed another excuse not to watch this Avatar movie.

  3. I feel you so much on the story writing thing!!! There were always blond and blue-eyed princesses in the stories I wrote as a kid. As I got older I switched from having myself as the main character to having these white girls as the protagonists, though my obsession with blond hair eventually switched to one with auburn hair and green eyes (and till today if I was ever going to be white, I’d want those features, lol). I guess it was because there were no black girls in my fantasy stories. Heck, there are STILL very few people of color in the fantasy books I read. I just hope that changes by the time my kids are old enough to read.

  4. OMG I totally forgot to tell you about this. When they first released the cast list, EVERY ACTOR was White. Then they had a casting call for Asians to use as the crowds and the background people. Imagine the nerve. It’s the new racism.

  5. OMG I totally agree, i had a loooooooooooooong conversation about this with mates. ove avatar 🙂

  6. @mellowyel, i knew i wasn’t the only one! you know when i got older in my stories there was always a black girl with white people. haha i think i prefer red hair. lol i’m even dying my hair this summer. girl you are not reading the right kind of fantasy. i make sure i only read diversified books and there are quite a lot. now when i write i do write diverse as in there is anyone and everyone in my works. like this sci-fi one i’m working on, there are people from all corners of the world and even mythical creatures are well represented.

  7. @Sugabelly, i’ve been following this closely and i know about that all white cast. in fact it would have been better to me if the villian was white as well. and i don’t see the point of having the people of colour in the background essentially the story will have this thing where it is white people who save the ‘coloured’ folk. *hissss*@Suesue, thanks a lot. and i don’t have anyone to talk about this stuff with so we thank God for blogger 😀

  8. This film is going to be a big flop I didn’t watch the series but my younger brothers did sometimes. I mean the casting is so blantanly racist but stupid arse denyers are saying it’s not.

    I mean this was a good chance to show actors and actresses of Asian decent in a positive strong roles which is so rare in a western produced film.

Comments are closed.