m. night shyamalan boasts the last airbender will be the most 'culturally diverse' movie ever

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a story on director M. Night Shymalan and upcoming Last Airbender movie, which looks more and more like it's going to be a disaster. I know -- what can we say that hasn't already been said about this whitewashed project. Shymalan and Co. are on the defense: Casting of 'Last Airbender' stirs controversy. Some choice excerpts:
Although creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko were heavily influenced by Asian martial arts lore and incorporated elements of Chinese and Tibetan cultures, the characters had no explicit race.
Ah, so in absence of any explicit race, the default race must be white.
On the film's Philadelphia set last summer, Shyamalan took issue with the idea that "The Last Airbender" presents a lily-white version of the cartoon's universe. "Ultimately, this movie, and then the three movies, will be the most culturally diverse tentpole movies ever released, period," he said. "So if I'm failing the bar, I'm not sure whose bar is set higher than this movie."
Wow. Shyamalan is really sticking to his ridiculous line that this is going to be the most "cultural diverse" Hollywood tentpole movie ever released. I suppose that's not even really saying much, considering how low that bar is set.
Toub, whose lengthy resume includes " Iron Man" and " Crash," said that race-based casting would have come with its own problems. "If they would have put all Asians in a certain nation, I think then there would be people who come out and said, ‘Well, now you're stereotyping, saying that anything that has to do with martial arts has to do with Asians and chop suey and all that.' So it's nice to mix it up and just do the unexpected."
The 'unexpected'? I think we have different definitions of this concept. The unexpected thing for the studio to do would have been to actually cast Asian actors in The Last Airbender. The way things have turned out, this is pretty business as usual -- it's exactly what you would have expected from Hollywood. The movie opens July 2. Brace yourselves.

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