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Round Two: FIGHT!

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Hope you all had a great holiday! As for us, we're back from our hiatus with news, more addresses, and some things to keep in mind.

Here's what's going on right now:

• We've changed our strategy a bit. We'll be writing to TWO different addresses -- the film's two producers, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, at their production company; and Mark Bakshi, the president of features production at Paramount Pictures. We've updated the main information post to reflect this, so you can head over there to get started on your letter.

The mainstream media is starting to take notice, which is very good news. The outcry over The Last Airbender's casting was the subject of an article in the January 9th issue of Entertainment Weekly, which you can read in its entirety here. Media coverage of this issue is extremely helpful and important -- the more attention that gets drawn to Paramount's casting decision, the harder it is for them to pretend there isn't a problem.

We've updated the main information post regarding how to help us get the media's attention, so head over and take a look if you want to get involved!

Paramount knows we're angry. In the Entertainment Weekly article, Nicole Sperling writes, "Paramount declined to comment, other than to say that casting isn't complete." This, too, could be very good news. Saying "casting isn't complete" can mean a lot of things, but among them could be that none of the actors announced so far are set in stone. This makes taking action now more important than ever -- there may still be time to fix this mess. Help us give Paramount a reason to change their minds!

That said, here's a few things to think about as we forge ahead into the new year:

• Talking about this issue online, writing essays or even mentioning it in passing on your journal or blog is not a waste of time. Anything you do to keep the conversation going and spread awareness of this issue is a help. All we ask is that you try to stay positive and proactive, as much as we know that's often difficult.

• People may tell you you're wasting your time. People may say that you're a whiner, that you should get over it, that you're taking this too seriously. Those people are wrong.

Racism is still a big problem, in America and elsewhere, that affects real people every day. Movies like this one help shape people's attitudes of what's normal and acceptable, particularly the kids and young teenagers who are its target audience. Hollywood has a long history of marginalizing minority actors and whitewashing properties like Avatar -- they'll only stop if we speak up and tell them that it's not okay, and that we won't stand for it.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of this journal is to share information and provide a safe space for people to speak out against Paramount's casting policy. We're not interested in hosting or moderating debates on the topic -- there are plenty of other forums for that.

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Comments

(Anonymous)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: Look what I found...
If a peaceful demonstration IS called, it might be good to put together some literature to let people know why. The literature should be intelligent, thoughtful and explain why this matters so much. They should also mention the MTV interview and include Rathborn's careless remark. (might also be good to mention that DBZ movie was cast with a caucasian lead despite DBZ beig Japanese).

it should also have links to this site and the essay 'The Face of the Other', the January Entertainment Weekly article and links to relevant news sites. Also (VERY IMPORTANT) someone local should call the local police to let them know what you're doing and ask if you need a permit and if you have any form of ID, take it with you so you can show it to police.

Might also be a good idea to dress up in costumes! It will certainly get the public's attention. This could also be a chance to get on TV!

-Show up early (an hour at least) to set up.

-Have relevant signs

-Be polite

-Be respectful

-Don't block people from entering the building or block cars. Demo where you're not going to be in people's way yet you're seen clearly. A local should get in contact with the restaurant owner/management to let them know what you're doing and you won't do anything to interfere with their business.

-IF you are interviewed by media, someone with good speaking skills should speak.

All I can think of right now. Hope that helps.

GOOD LUCK!
aang_aint_white
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Re: Look what I found...
We've set up a little info post over here for those who might want to go and protest, just in case you're curious!

However, we'd discourage people from wearing costumes unless they're of a related ethnicity, because of the nature of what we're protesting - we don't want to give people a reason to dismiss us, after all.

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