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12.24.2009

roger ebert gives the last airbender a thumbs down

In his latest "Movie Answer Man," venerable movie critic Roger Ebert briefly speaks out about the racist casting behind the upcoming The Last Airbender movie, which we have talked about quite a bit around here. Here's the question and answer:
Q. Regarding the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan vehicle "The Last Airbender," what do you think about the whitewashing of the production so that all of the original Asian cultural landmarks, architecture, philosophy, and costume design are being retained while they cast white kids to play the main characters?
Arlene C. Harris

A. Wrong. The original series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" was highly regarded and popular for three seasons on Nickelodeon. Its fans take it for granted that its heroes are Asian. Why would Paramount and Shyamalan go out of their way to offend these fans? There are many young Asian actors capable of playing the parts.
Yup, he gives it a resounding "wrong," as any normal, clear-thinking human being would agree. Big props to Ebert for shining a little bit of light on this issue, even just briefly at the bottom of his column.