Lemon Water



Re: ATLA’s Friky Diky Cast; Rathbone Doesn’t Get It

Which honestly, doesn’t surprise me.

I leave the internet for about 18 days and miss out on the lovely (dripping sarcasm PLEASE be noted here, I don’t ever want to be quoted on saying this guy is lovely) Jackson Rathbone’s comment regarding the whole casting fracas which involves him. Is it too much to hope that one of the actors are genuinely concerned, although obviously conflicted because they really want the part too and get paid? Maybe that would be better?

Due in theaters in summer 2010, “Airbender” has already begun to face a bit of controversy over the casting of white actors like Rathbone, Ringer and McCartney to play Asian characters — a concern the actor was quick to dismiss. “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” he said of the transformation he’ll go through to look more like Sokka. “It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.”

No. Rathbone, it is NOT the same if you are acting in it and make yourself look darker and change your hairstyle. See, the thing is, ALL the actors are WHITE. The WHOLE Avatar Universe is ASIAN, INUIT, or MESOAMERICAN (Check: the Sun Warriors! Predominantly Asian, though). This is happening in concordance with a pattern in movies, where CULTURAL APPROPIATION is pretty much the default. It is a disgusting continuation of viewing the default heroes as white, up to the point that the heroes in a fictional universe where NO ONE IS WHITE are going to be recast as white.

Do you know what the fans want? They want Avatar Universe faithfully followed. Do you know why this show is so big? Great storytelling, plots, characters, development, among some things. But ALSO, for providing a hero that isn’t white. No wait, for providing many heroes that aren’t white. It is an issue, when in this world, in the media, there are very few roles for those who aren’t white, for PoCs to identify. I mean… just… look, this says it better than I can:

During our early Christmas dinner this weekend, the oldest of the nephews, who is 13, brought up the subject of the incredibly white child actors that had been picked for the film version. The three of them were confused and disappointed but unable to articulate exactly why. Then the youngest, all of 7 years old, asked me whether this meant that he couldn’t be Aang when he played Avatar with his friends from now on.

Tell me, Rathbone, if you read that? How do you feel? Are you happy you are participating in the exclusion of many kids, who actually had a hero like them, somebody not the fucking white default? In making them feel that somehow, that they aren’t good enough?

Rathbone, do yourself a favour, and actually read what is going on. Actually read the worries, the dissapointments, the dreams, the problems, of the fans who had something amazing… taken away from them.

You’ve pretty damn already lost me and a lot of us. I highly doubt you will get anybody back. I have already made note of avoiding movies with somebody as insensitive and as clueless as you. Before I heard your opinion, I was pretty happy to avoid making any comments directly about you (except where related to Twilight, because admittedly, I find Twilight ridiculous) and concentrate on those who had chosen you to replace a uniquely diverse world and peoples with the white hero. It is not the same. But since you have on this comment… well… you’re taking part in the systematic exclusion of anybody different.

The positive side, is that he was asked the question. And it appeared on MTV. And that MTV noted that the cast was chosen to play “Asian characters”.

So people, keep making your voices heard! I’ll go back to keeping the roundup updated on what you guys say!

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