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we saw wut u did thar, paramount
BREAKING NEWS ON CASTING (Flushing, NY Write Up) 
2nd-Mar-2009 01:11 am
I am happy to report that (IMO) this was a success. I will have a more exhaustive report later, but in a nut shell. Me and Dale (I hope I got her name right), aka [Bad username: http://djinnj.livejournal.com/] were out there with signs, posted a few posters and handed out stuff while talking. I was attracting many people and she was doing an amazing job explaining our cause away.

Because I did not get a permit in time (and we found out the entire zone was zoned off) we were kicked off the front of the property but they did not take down any of our fliers we put up and handing them out across the street gave us the same traffic as being in front of the building. We also had a guy stop buy and take pictures I should be getting shortly, as well as my own that I am going to upload soon. I am actually glad this was not a huge mob or they would have made a huge legal deal over it.

Here is the BREAKING CASTING NEWS we found out:

We have figured out HOW they are casting this film and what M. Night means by diversity.

We talked to many of the actors auditioning inside and this is what they told them. The reason why they were hiring extras is NOT to throw Asians in the background. Well, it's mostly that, but there is an more evil plot behind it all.

They were looking for Earth Nation people. The casting director inside said that they are casting around the race of the actors they have chosen, so this is how the tribes will break down:

Water Tribe = White People

Fire Nation = Indian People

Earth Nation = "Asian" People

Which if rumors are correct, the final puzzle piece is:

Air Nation = White People

This...could get ugly. That is all we can get, but I think it tells us a lot what is going on at Paramount and the Pre-Production people's train of thought.




This was actually when I got back home around 5pm. I had way more white make up on my face, but until I get that photo that should give you an idea of my protesting style.


This is Dale(SP?), who is stupidly amazingly awesome, with her awesome billboard explaining away to a small crowd of five people. We got crowds like this every five minutes even when we were kicked off the property.


One of the many fliers that I posted around the area. They may kick us off the property, but they can not get rid of our message! Which many people were reading BTW.


We had a hundred 8x11 fliers and around 50 pamphlets and they were all gone by the end of it. Most people were very receptive, we got into conversations many times. Even the only two people who dissagreed with us really admired our actions for this cause. Overall, 80% success.

On to PHASE II for me! More on that soon...
Comments 
2nd-Mar-2009 08:42 am (UTC)
Fuck the what?!

That's just... ARGH. Cannot believe this is how it's rollin'. Yeah, those Air Nomads sure looked fan-TASTIC in their lederhosen & Ukrainian villager scarves! The stupid involved in this is just very nearly beyond words.
2nd-Mar-2009 09:10 am (UTC)
So...if they get to make the second movie, does this make Toph the Token Asian in the Gaang?

Edited at 2009-03-02 09:11 am (UTC)
2nd-Mar-2009 09:12 am (UTC)
That's what frightens me.

Paramount like keeps trying to dig them self's out of a hole but every shovel they are making the hole deeper and deeper...
2nd-Mar-2009 09:17 am (UTC) - Travesty!
Why can't the producers just FOLLOW the SOURCE MATERIAL?? Seriously, how bloody difficult is that? It's not like they're low-budgeted or something (even low-budget movies WOULD follow the original material).

*headdesk*

They should just slap on a "Loosely based on..." tag for the poster.
2nd-Mar-2009 09:27 am (UTC) - Re: Travesty!
Not even "loosely based on," more like "has the same name as." :(
2nd-Mar-2009 09:26 am (UTC)
THEY CAN'T STOP THE SIGNAL.

Awesome work, you guys. Glad to hear you were able to stick it out even across the street (and discourse with the public! ALWAYS good at a protest site.) Thanks a lot for the inside-word, too!

Pff. Okay, check, we've got the more obviously Chinese culture equivalent kingdom as "Asian" (presumably east Asian). And I see they latched onto the few Indian appointments in the otherwise wildly amalgamated Fire Nation aesthetics to conclude that, naw, they're just going to be Indian. (I do not agree, but it's currently the lesser of my objections.) But dude, the rest of 'em? NOT SEEING IT. What, exactly, was SO European about the Tibetan-esque mountain temple monk civilization and the brown snow-country people with their ice abodes and clearly Inuit aesthetics?

I mean, freakin'-A, if they were going to just up and make this a more global effort than admit to the cultural diversity within the Asian continent alone (I can just hear them now, "Well, you've got your brown Asians like our director and your, um, Asian Asians.. that pretty much accounts for two countries, right?") then make it GLOBAL. This is just paltry and insincere -_-
2nd-Mar-2009 11:18 am (UTC)
I just realised something. With this sort of casting in mind, this would mean that:

Fire Nation = India

Earth Kingdom = East Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea etc.)

Water Tribe & Air Nomads = North Americas (or Europe, maybe)

For a TV show set in an alternate universe (with borrowed elements from ours), the producers seem pretty bent on closing the gap between our world and their's. How easy they're making it for us to draw similarities based solely on race.
2nd-Mar-2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
That's Dale, also known as djinnj! She was a firecracker at the Philly protest, and I'm sure she was just as awesome up in your neck of the woods. Thanks for doing this, guys, and for sticking through -- you all rock!
2nd-Mar-2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
So the brown people are going to be the villains again, great... Way to feed Children that brown people are to be feared.
2nd-Mar-2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
When I read this comment the first thing I thought of were the hyenas in "The Lion King" purposefully sounding like inner city black kids. HOLLYWOOD: STILL BLATANTLY RACIST.
2nd-Mar-2009 01:57 pm (UTC)

You are heroes!
I give so much credit for the people who took the time out to go and speak up against these horrible decisions!

This movie will not reflect the world we have fallen in love with! And by time most realize just how bad it's going to be it will probably be too late :(
2nd-Mar-2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Wow. The Fire Nation is so obviously Indian. I mean they wrote Aang's wanted poster in an Indian regional script...Oh, wait, they wrote it in CHINESE characters, my bad.

You guys rock. I first heard about the movie at Comicon when they were showing teasers for the final season. I was exited at first, because it could have been a solid kung fu film based on the show. With all this racial backlash I'm not so excited anymore. In fact, the more I hear, the less I want to see it.
2nd-Mar-2009 03:04 pm (UTC) - Congrats on the success!! But Wow.
Congratulations on the success!! I salute you, and only wish I could've been there.

As for the racial decision they've made with all the extras and such:

I always pictured the water tribe to be more like Indigenous Antarctica natives. Or like the native Americans who live in cold climates. White doesn't make sense.

And I definitely pictured the Earth Kingdom and the fire nation to be a lot like China. I pictured the Earth Kingdom to be more of a mix of indigenous people and Asian people.
As for the earth nomads - I just pictured Buddhist monks, so Asian.

But most of all, I pictures the majority of these 4 nations to be diverse. Not solid. It makes sense for Indians to be in it, like Dev Patel. But really? I can't believe they're breaking it down like that. I don't want Katara to be white, she always seemed so Indigenous to me!
2nd-Mar-2009 03:09 pm (UTC) - Re: Congrats on the success!! But Wow.
Let me rephrase one part:
**it kind of makes sense for Indians to be in it.
But not to make up the entire race of the Fire Nation! >:[
2nd-Mar-2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Also, I think it's quite obvious that Shyamalan made the Fire nation Indian only because he is. That angers me.
2nd-Mar-2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Funny thing is, Dev resembles Sokka, and Shyamalan's daughter got him interested in the show because she wanted to dress up as Katara.

How we got Firenation out of that I will never understand :|
2nd-Mar-2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
FANTASTIC AMAZING WONDERFUL!! This is what you and Dale are, thank you SO MUCH for doing this protest and being so amazing about it!! AAAHHH <33333333

As for their suppposedly 'diverse' cast...


I think what hurts the most is that they BLATANTLY WHITE-WASHED the darkest-skinned hero!characters OUT of the show and then transplanted the darker-skinned actors as the villain!characters. Making the Inuit-based culture into WHITE PEOPLE?! What will they be, Nordic? Icelandic? The whiter, blonder and more blue-eyed, the better, right! They're the heroes after all!

*POUNDS THINGS INTO DUST*

Edited at 2009-03-02 03:12 pm (UTC)
2nd-Mar-2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Let's put all the Asians in the nation that's secretly corrupt and the Indians in the one that's trying to take over the world.

FAIL.
2nd-Mar-2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
So what you're saying is:

- the White People get to play the heroes (both the Water Tribe with its "minor imperfections" and the Air Nomads with their total sainthood because there aren't enough of them to have examples of "bad Air people"). And because the Fire Nation killed almost all the Air Nomads and a fair number of Water Tribespeople, the White People get to be the underdog minority. Wonderful.
- the Yellow People get to play the "mostly nice but if you let them get too powerful they get all corruptified" potential allies, and oh, they happen to be the racial majority in this world? but as one of the Four Nations, they should really only have 1/4 of the total power?
- the Brown People get to play the villains who called for and caused the genocide of one of the nations of White People.

Oh. My. Effing. God. So much rage boiling up in me right now.

Edited at 2009-03-02 04:39 pm (UTC)
2nd-Mar-2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
This (casting situation is crap).


Especially this: the Brown People get to play the villains who called for and caused the genocide of one of the nations of White People.
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2nd-Mar-2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
WTF is all i can say about the casting. What. The. Eff! Karma/justice cannot happen fast enough for realz. :/ Im going to believe that i wont have to wait long for the whole karma thing to happen to the people who decided this f'd up piece of poop. For serious guhs what the eff.


Glad to hear it was a success though. :)
2nd-Mar-2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
They're dividing the world by skin color.

They're dividing the world by skin color.

I can't breathe.
2nd-Mar-2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Agreed.
2nd-Mar-2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I can't even... I mean, I knew that's the world they were setting up by casting the lead characters but it's just sickening to see spelled out.

Again, thank you both so much for representing the online protest in person and being able to speak to people who are choosing to involve themselves in the project. I'm so glad your voices were out there!

Edited at 2009-03-02 05:30 pm (UTC)
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2nd-Mar-2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
srsly, this icon is made of win. so many potential uses.
2nd-Mar-2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
Excellent job spreading the word guys!

As for the casting fail...it's deplorable. Honestly.

We've got our White!Savior, and as listed above, the White!Underdogs. Then our Brown baddies.

[sarcastic rant]
At least one of the Brown anti-heroes sees the error of his ways/the ways of his people after seeing the light. :|
[/sarcastic rant]
2nd-Mar-2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Well, I can see the logic behind this: They're trying to preserve the casting they already have. It's better than casting only white people everywhere, I guess, but... it's a stupid solution. They should just recast it.
2nd-Mar-2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
No, its worse. Like someone said, they are trying to put a band-aid on a broken arm.
2nd-Mar-2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
There is not enough RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE to express how I feel about this new bullshit. Meeting us halfway is not working AT ALL and is making matters worse. Fuck this shit, I am boycotting. The only way I'll ever see this travesty is by pirating and they'll have to pull a doozy in the trailer to make me want to even think about pirating. >_>
2nd-Mar-2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
Also, thank you very much for the lovely work you and Dale did while at the protest. It is greatly appreciated.
2nd-Mar-2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
First of all, you guys are great. Way to go, really.
Secondly, what the fuck? They're turning the actual story into a race issue now. I mean, hell, what is this going to do for its representation of Indians? They'll be the big, genocidal baddies killing off the poor white nations (let's face it - the Air Nomads and Water Tribe nearly get wiped off the map. In comparison, the Earth Kingdom is looking pretty good). So we get, what from this film? "Oh no, the evil east Asian people"? ENOUGH, already. This completely changes the dynamic and the message of Avatar itself. This is not at all what the story is meant to be. This is bullshit.
2nd-Mar-2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
First off thank you guys so much for your hardwork! I really wish I could have been there with you guys (and it would have made an awesome b-day present for moi!) Unfortunately distance was a factor (why oh why aren't there any protest opps in Canada?). Thanks so much and good job!

And wtf about the casting? WHAT IN THE DOUBLE FIZZUCK?

The only nations that have EVER been painted as being almost 100% righteous were the Air Nomads and the Water Tribes. Poor righteous white people! However will they defend themselves against an evil nation of genocidal brown people and a nation of often corrupt Asian people???

WHY ARE WHITE PEOPLE ALWAYS THE VICTIMS Y'ALL?



BOYCOTT
2nd-Mar-2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
Water Tribe = White People
Fire Nation = Indian People
Earth Nation = "Asian" People
Air Nation = White People


... Hm. That's odd. I seem to remember that people in the Fire Nation had skin tones of all sorts of creams to browns. Earth Kingdom, too.

I also find it strange that the Waterbenders, who we've seen to have a majority of darker skin tones are being cast with "White People".

By the way, it sounds as though the protest really did go well! Let's hope for the best~
3rd-Mar-2009 12:29 am (UTC)
They've done it that way to try to respond to us. It reflects the casting decisions for the Gaang.
3rd-Mar-2009 08:03 am (UTC)
I have no read any updated comments (mainly from the annoying person called paperclipchains).

However, I must apologize with the way I have been acting lately. All the latest news about this horrible casting reached my boiling point for awhile, plus other factors in my life right now.

While I do like to debate things, if I did yell at you, I am sorry for it. I did not mean to yell at anyone.
3rd-Mar-2009 11:12 am (UTC)
And *I'm* sorry we hijacked your post with arguing, sidepocket_pro. It's such a productive thing you all are doing, and that you're sharing in this post, and though of course these are important conversations that should be had, I'm not sure your post was the right place to do that. Apologies, and thanks again for all the hard work.
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