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we saw wut u did thar, paramount
Polling "People Against Racebending" for Demographics 
24th-Apr-2009 10:27 pm
I have been contacted by a group curious to learn about the demographics of our movement. It might be important to prove to the world that this issue concerns everyone, not simply Asian Americans or young people or Avatar fans, etc. As much as statistics 'pigeonhole' us, it can also help show how diverse we are.

These are the things I am surveying for:

I would like a number so I can generate a mean and median age.

I just added this, sorry! Don't worry if you didn't put it in before, I don't expect my stats to be completely accurate for this category but someone just requested it.

I was most reluctant to poll for this but it's also important to prove that "it's not just the X people who are offended about Y, it's everyone." Under Ethnicity, write whatever you want to call yourself. If you don't feel like you identify with any particular ethnicity, that's fine, too.

State, country, whatever you feel comfortable divulging. I was thinking about mapping out where people are geographically.

Are you an Avatar fan? A parent? Against yellowface or whitewashing in general? Three sentences on your opinion of these casting practices. The best quotes will go into a revised press release for the racebending.com site!

This poll will be conducted on the racebending community, AAW's home page (hopefully), the facebook group message board, and private facebook message, so please respond only ONCE.

Here are the answers to my survey

AGE: 22
GENDER: Female
ETHNICITY: Taiwanese American
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
REASON: I was a fan of the original series and I think these casting decisions are against a lot of what Avatar stood for. I admire Mako's work and advocacy for Asian American actors and I don't think this should be happening to Avatar, part of his legacy. I'm Asian American and remember being told when I was growing up that Asian girls don't get to grow up and become actresses.

EDIT: The Survey is now complete and available at Racebending.com
25th-Apr-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
Sure :)

Age: 28
Ethnicity: white (ETA: equal parts Dutch and white American with Armenian heritage as well)
ETA: Sex: Biological female, mostly female-identified
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Reason: I'm an Avatar fan who liked the show for many reasons, but largely because it was an extraordinary fantasy not set in a world dominated by white people. I'm appalled as well by the racism Hollywood constantly displays and by blackface and yellowface, and by not casting Asians and Asian-Americans in specifically Asian roles, I think this film is reinforcing racism. Further, I am one white viewer who is sick of every major movie featuring people of my race, and I think more racial diversity in art benefits everyone.

(I hope that didn't suck too badly :x)

Edited at 2009-04-26 07:20 pm (UTC)
26th-May-2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Age: 17
Ethnicity: African American
Gender: Male
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Reason: I have grown tired of the stereotypes and under representation of all minorities in films. The Last Airbender was a chance for East Asian actors to find success but it was stolen from them. I am also offended that the studio tries to make it better by hiring numerous South East Asian actors now(Dev Patel).
Poll - Anonymous - Expand
last airbender - Anonymous - Expand
racebending - Anonymous - Expand
25th-Apr-2009 05:48 am (UTC)
AGE: 29

ETHNICITY: European American mutt

HOMETOWN: Chesapeake, Virginia

REASON: I'm a student of animation and became a fan of the Avatar series because it was one of the most well written and wonderfully animated American series I had seen in a long time. I found it a wonderful tribute to Asian cultures that was at the same time very honest and respectful to them rather then being the normal exploitive stuff that we so often see. It was also so groundbreaking and bold because of the decision to use Asian and Native based heroes.

When I heard about the casting I thought it was an internet joke. When I found out it was true, I felt betrayed because they were taking something that was so smart and bold and watering it down and taking away what made it special to so many people who saw it as groundbreaking. It's become a whitewashed mockery and nothing more then a soulless studio product.
25th-Apr-2009 05:56 am (UTC)
Age: 19
Ethnicity: White
Hometown: San Francisco, CA but going to to school in Santa Barbara, CA.
Reason: I was a fan of avatar from the third season on so when I saw the casting news I was outraged. I knew Hollywood had a history of whitewashing films but even in my cynicism I never thought they'd go this far simply because the series was so blatantly Asian-based. I was very glad to see that action was taken so quickly and that it made such a huge impact so as well. The power of the internet!
25th-Apr-2009 06:04 am (UTC)
AGE: 19
ETHNICITY: Chinese in Canada
REASON: I'm just getting sick of whitewashing Asian characters, whether it's in the original Avatar cartoon (which is admittedly not as Asian as I'd hoped it would be, but good enough) or in general other TV shows with Asian Americans playing the token character of color. With a live action movie I'd hoped that there would be more Asian actors given a chance to make it big. Plus, I just really hated the recent DBZ movie turning Goku white (Monkey King was my childhood hero, though I admit Goku's only loosely based off him, it still stings to see him white...and speaking English in Forbidden Kingdom).
25th-Apr-2009 06:07 am (UTC)
  • Age: 23
  • Gender: Female
  • Ethnicity: Japanese American
  • Hometown: Cupertino, CA
  • Reason: I'm a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the high quality of work that it showed in every facet of its production (if I had reason to suspect that the original Avatar was no more than cultural appropriation--a weeaboo's wet dream--or just another in a line of western "anime" chic, I would never have bothered with it). But I believed that not only did Avatar's creators take the cultures, people, and other sources that it borrowed from very seriously, but that they trusted viewers to appreciate the beauty of the underrepresented eastern cultures without resorting to exoticism or stereotypes. Seeing The Last Airbender become yet another Hollywood property, whitewashing source materials originally populated by eastern cultures and PoC, (especially when it came from an already American source which proved it would work as is) is honestly more offensive to me than any anime-to-Hollywood!live-action adaptation yet.

Edited at 2009-04-25 07:55 am (UTC)
25th-Apr-2009 06:10 am (UTC)
Age: 16
Ethnicity: White
Hometown: California/Iowa
Reason: I've been a fan of the original series since it started, and one of the main reasons it captured me so completely was its portrayal of a blend of cultures and races coexisting. As a gay person I've seen stereotypes and fear saturate popular media and turn public opinion- Avatar is one of the few shows that isn't afraid to show people of different beliefs, values, races standing up, fighting, living for themselves. I don't want to see that taken away.
25th-Apr-2009 05:20 pm (UTC) - they need this now~
Gender: female
25th-Apr-2009 06:15 am (UTC)
AGE: 23

ETHNICITY: White American

HOMETOWN: I don't actually have one; I'm a military brat. Currently in Carmichael, CA.

REASON: I'm somewhat of a latecomer to the Avatar fandom - I didn't actually get really into the show until the huge hiatus between DoBS and the following episodes - but I still adore the show. It was finding out that Dante Basco voiced a main character that drew me in, actually; I loved his Rufio. Too, the casting for the movie actually opened my eyes to the problem of racism that still lingers in Hollywood, that people try to justify with "finding the best actors".
25th-Apr-2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
oops, gender. Female.
25th-Apr-2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Age: 19
Ethnicity: Caucasian mutt
Hometown: Clarksville, IN (across the river from Louisville, KY); going to college in Muncie, IN
Reason: I'm an Avatar fan who's loved the series from the start and immediately fell in love with the world saturated in cultures I knew little about at the time. Finding out about the casting was a low blow and infuriates me to think that a movie "needs" white heroes to be successful. If non white people can identify with white heroes, why can't white people identify with non white heroes?
25th-Apr-2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, needing gender now. Female. :3
25th-Apr-2009 06:18 am (UTC)
AGE: 16
ETHNICITY: Asian. More specifically Vietnamese & Thai.
HOMETOWN: Melbourne, Australia.
REASON: Love the Avatar series, hate that it's gonna be yet another good animated series turned into an awful live action film, and a white washed one at that. I'd just love for an Asian to take the lead for once, rather than being the token Asian/coloured best friend, and by lead I don't mean as the Engrish speaking detective from Asia on a mission for the FBI or whatever. The Avatar has the potential to bring a lot of talented Asian Americans out from the woodwork and I'd love to see this happen.
25th-Apr-2009 06:18 am (UTC)
AGE: 20
ETHNICITY: Mexican-American
REASON: I'm a pretty big fan of the show. It's hard to pinpoint when I started feeling angry and offended at the casting. It probably started with aversion to the production in general with Jessie assuming this was an anime, Rathbone's hair and tan comment, and more. I figure I'd have been fine with an actual "multi-ethnic" cast, not the joke of one they've got now. As time went on, I read the posts of Derek Kirk Kim and others, and recalled a few classic movies that featured whitewashing, like the Mr. Moto series that my history teacher told me of, I began wanting to see change based on the social implications, not just disrespect towards the source material. I want to see it change or at the absolute worst, not succeed and be forced to see the studios rewarded for continuing something that should have been seen as an old and embarrassing practice.

Long story short, I just feel that what the studio is doing now cheapens all the work that went into Avatar, and disrespects a lot of the people that helped bring it to where it is.
25th-Apr-2009 06:20 am (UTC)
AGE: 16
ETHNICITY: Korean American
HOMETOWN: Washington DC suburbs
REASON: One of the reasons I loved Avatar was because of how truly reflective it was of every aspect of Asian culture without stereotyping or fetishizing it. I think Asian culture was integral to the show. Making an Avatar movie with white actors would be like drawing Mulan as a white girl (Wrong! Very wrong!).
25th-Apr-2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I'm female.
25th-Apr-2009 06:21 am (UTC)
AGE: 17
ETHNICITY: Chinese Canadian
HOMETOWN: Ottawa, ON (born in Lanzhou, China)
REASON: I'm incredibly offended by the blatant whitewashing and racism evident in the casting decisions, and even more so by the production's flippantly insensitive attitude towards our concerns. I thought we as a society were better than this, had learned and moved on from obvious stereotypes like White Hero and Coloured Villain. Minority actors are in a tight spot as it is, and I'm angry because this film could have different—should have been, considering the source material—yet it chose to be another shafting of Asian American actors, leaving them what but stereotyped roles and unemployment.
25th-Apr-2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Gender: female!
25th-Apr-2009 06:22 am (UTC)
AGE: Almost 21 (got a few more weeks, bb!)
ETHNICITY: Filipino (American)
REASON: I've been taught all my life that race doesn't matter, and I've been fortunate enough not to have encountered racism (except maybe for people always mistaking my ethnicity... which I know isn't really racism, but it shows a regrettable lack of education. Filipinos just aren't on the map for most Americans, and that includes other non-white, non-Filipinos. Check out various Filipino actors, like Dante Basco, who have yet to play Filipino characters.) But for some reason this didn't stop me from picking up the idea that the default race is white. I'm not white, and whenever I sit down to write or create anything, my character(s) comes out... white.

This is beyond weird for me, and I hope that no child ever grows up unable to see themselves as the protagonists of their own stories.

Plus Avatar is just beyond awesome. It was popular just the way it was: Asian people, dark-skinned people, blind and scarred people... don't fix what ain't broke, Hollywood, when are you ever going to learn that?
25th-Apr-2009 09:16 am (UTC)
I'm not white, and whenever I sit down to write or create anything, my character(s) comes out... white.

This happens to me too!!! (I'm Latina.) Sometimes I think it's because I pass for white and so I don't have that visual marker of "different-ness." Sometimes I think it's because I'm Puerto Rican, and here on the west coast most Latinos are Mexican-American, so I lack a frame of reference for my own culture beyond my immediate family. But then I hear about folks without issues like mine who do the same exact thing, and it amazes me. And it seems like M. Night Shyamalan himself is a victim to this type of thinking, judging from his previous works. You're right, it's beyond weird, and it hurts to know that other people suffer from this.
25th-Apr-2009 06:24 am (UTC)
AGE: 18

ETHNICITY: White American


REASON: I've enjoyed the original show in passing for several years, and found out about the cast via someone's post of Fandom!Secrets about the community "Saving the World with Postage". After looking over the posts there, and reading some of the comments, I started to re-watch the show from episode 1. Looking at it from that perspective, the casting seemed insulting, racist, and stupid. Adding to that, I didn't care for McCartny or Rathbone, and I still don't. I don't particularly care for Patel either, but that's a whole different story (involving an obsessive roommate who played the song Jai Ho for 8 hours straight while I was trying to study).
25th-Apr-2009 06:26 am (UTC)
AGE: 24
HOMETOWN: Louisville, KY
REASON: I could go on for more than three sentences (and initially was planning to), but long story short: despite people who think this is nothing more than fans bitching, I'm not here because I'm upset that evil movie producers messed with my favorite show. This is about more than just Avatar--this is about protesting a tradition of whitewashing, a history of yellowface, and a Hollywood culture that sidelines Asian American and Native American actors and characters.
25th-Apr-2009 08:22 am (UTC)
Oh, and since you want gender now, I'm male.
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