Visual Binder


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Visual Binder

  2. 2. Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American children’s cartoon. In 2010, Paramount will release a live-action adaptation. The cartoon stars Asian heroes in an Asian world. …but Paramount decided Asians aren’t good enough.
  3. 3. Paramount’s Casting Decisions Water Tribe Champions Ch i CAUCASIAN Fire Nation Terrorists SOUTH ASIAN MIDDLE EASTERN
  4. 4. A show lik H h like Heroes l k for th b t looks f the best actors for the role. Example: p [ AGENT 1 & 2 ] 28 – 45. PLEASE SUBMIT MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL ETHNICITIES. MUST BE IN GREAT PHYSICAL SHAPE. EXPERIENCE HANDLING WEAPONS A PLUS. These men/women are FBI agents taking part in a top-secret military operation… What did Paramount look for with The Last Airbender? [ AANG ] 12-15 years-old, Male, Caucasian or any y other ethnicity. We are looking for a young man to play the lead role in a motion picture franchise. He must be athletic and graceful with an ability in Martial Arts… You get what you ask for.
  5. 5. Race in Avatar: Th he Last Airbe t ender
  6. 6. • Pointing to his “eyes” ignores context. – His eyes are part of the Art Style. – His eyes match the Mythology. • His food dress culture tribe elders and food, dress, culture, elders, language point to his Asian Heritage.
  7. 7. People think Aang is white because of the ANIME ART STYLE. His eyes aren’t “chink” enough. So let’s look at his eyes. Aang’s eye shape varies with emotion. Color is linked to the show’s different nations: Air is GRAY Fire is GOLD Water is BLUE Earth is GREEN
  8. 8. Caucasians do not have a monopoly on blue, green, blue green and round eyes eyes.
  9. 9. "I think it's one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave th sides, h the id and I definitely need a tan. It's one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.“ Jackson Rathbone, “Sokka” Deedee Ricketts, Casting Director g “It doesn't mean you're at a disadvantage if you didn't come in a To extras: big African thing. But guys, "We want you to dress in even if you came with a scarf today today, traditional cultural ethnic put it over your head so you'll look attire. If you're Korean, like a Ukrainian villager or wear a kimono." whatever.”
  10. 10. • Asian Americans are underrepresented in Hollywood by 40% (Screen Actors Guild, 2005) Most roles are supporting and 2/3 of the roles go to women Asian Americans are >8% of the population of California, Texas, New York, Florida (the 4 most populous states) African Americans are 10 9% of the same four states 10.9% states. And for children, such as the actors who star in Avatar: • 40% of American children are ethnic minorities. • In 10 years, that number will be 50%. Still think Asian Americans are fairly y represented? Would Caucasians really be “robbed” of roles?
  11. 11. Post-Racial World? “Blacks “Bl k are t treated th same t d the as whites in my community.” How many Caucasians agreed with that statement? Almost 2 out of 3. That was the fraction in 1963 and that number is virtually unchanged today. h dt d statistics via Tim Wise 1969: (one year after MLK Jr.’s assassination) 44% of whites think blacks have the advantage applying for jobs. 42% think blacks receive better education opportunities than whites. 67% think discrimination has nothing to do with high black unemployment. This is the difference between people who understand racism exists and people who have the privilege to ignore it.
  12. 12. Children See Race 1940: Kenneth and Mamie Clark show that black children prefer, by a margin of 2 to 1, white dolls over black ones. White dolls are “nice” and “good.” Black dolls are “bad.” 2006: Kiri Davis repeats these experiments. With identical results. “Can you show me the doll that looks bad?” The child, a preschool-aged Black girl, quickly picks up and shows the Black doll over a Whit one thatt is id ti l iin every respectt exceptt complexion. White th i identical l i “And why does that look bad?” “Because she’s Black,” the little girl answers emphatically. “And why is this the nice doll?” the voice continues. “Because she’s White.” “And can you give me the doll that looks like you?” The little girl hesitates for a split second before handing over the Black doll that she has just designated as the uglier one.
  13. 13. Intention of the Crew Unfortunately, Unfortunately the creators and much of the original series crew have been forced to sign NDAs. But some things get through anyway. "I have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CASTING WHATSOEVER for the feature film.“ -Brian Konietzko, co-creator “We wanted to base it in Asian rather than European background, and use the elements; to use martial arts as kind of the basis for the … supernatural element of the show.” -Mike DiMartino, co-creator “Kinda like the Kung Fu TV Series when David Carradine beat out Bruce Lee for the lead. I mean goodness we all know David Carradine was by far superior in the martial arts compared to Bruce Lee.” -Sifu Ki Sif Kisu, M ti l A t C di t /C Martial Arts Coordinator/Consultant lt t “The show was heavily influenced by Asian culture, some of the characters were even modeled after Asian members of the crew. But now, with the pre-dominantly white cast, it feels like all the Asian/Eastern influences, origins, what have you, were just a , , g , y , j backdrop for these characters. But I always believed they were Asian, or even mixed Asian. And that belief added a little extra pride in working on such a great show. The appreciation Mike and Bryan had for Asian culture, the interest it generated in the fans, gave ME greater appreciation for my own culture. So it's just hard to believe they couldn't find one Asian actor to hold any of the lead parts. Not one? This film is going to feel like some other Avatar story.” -Dao Le, Animatics Editor
  14. 14. True Fans We believe loving a show is about more than blind faith in its perfection. Just because we love a series does not mean it can do no wrong. Bryan and Mike willingly paid homage (their own words) to g ( ) Asian culture and philosophy. They’re amazing creators and we will always love their series. Bryan and Mike earned our loyalty. Paramount and M. Night Shyamalan have not. They believe PREJUDICE means PROFIT. Prove them wrong. BOYCOTT THE LAST AIRBENDER.
  15. 15. Asian Americans Want to Act For every five-second walk-on Asian role y you see on television, there are scores of , actors who vied for the part. The media underrepresents Asians by 40%. For each of the three heroic lead roles the roles, film will have dozens of Asian American and minority actors as extras. All but one of the stunt doubles for the main cast are Asian or Asian American. Asian American performers are here. You see them everywhere. You just don’t hear them.