"asian pop" on avatar

Jeff Yang's latest "Asian Pop" column is all about the controversy that's been raging among fans over the whitewashed casting of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie. Last month's announcement of an all-white principal cast caused an online uproar that's slowly stumbling outside the fandom and getting mainstream attention: Bent Out of Shape.

Among the most vocal fans are two of the most celebrated Asian American creators in comics: Gene Yang, National Book Award finalist for his graphic novel American Born Chinese, and Derek Kirk Kim, critically acclaimed author of Same Difference. Jeff interviews both of them for the piece.

Here's Derek's tirade over the casting, posted last week: New day in politics, same old racist world on the silver screen. And here are Gene's thoughts, posted today: The Last Airbender Casting Controversy. Both are well-written, thoughtful and angry considerations of the situation, from fans' perspectives.

This sucks. It's clear what's happening here -- the kind of racist casting that always happens in Hollywood. That said, I have to admit, I've never actually watched a full episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender... though from what I've seen, it's obvious that the show and its characters are all clearly Asian-inspired.

I think I'm going to order the DVD box set of Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 1 in order to be properly informed. Call it research. I'll tell you if it's any good.

angry archive