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Quoted from The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Be in an M. Night movie
Director-writer-producer M. Night Shyamalan is casting for The Last Airbender, a live-action film from Paramount and Nickelodeon based on the Nickelodeon animated series, shooting here from mid-March through July. (It's set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. The film's hero, the reluctant young Aang, is the Last Airbender. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara and her bullheaded brother, Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Standard stuff.)

The O.C.'s Jackson Rathbone has been named as Sokka. Casting folks are looking for extras to play soldiers, martial artists, dancers, gymnasts, athletes and families - specifically physically fit people from 18 to 65 years old. The open call will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bullies restaurant at the Wachovia Spectrum. You're asked to dress casually or in the traditional costume of your family's ethnic background. Info: lastairbendercasting@gmail.com or 215-574-7878.

We've called the number provided and this seems to be completely legit. Several people have commented suggesting that those protesting the casting decision should have a presence there, and we're inclined to agree. However, it's very important that we all conduct ourselves politely, peacefully and responsibly.

If you can make it to the casting call in person, we would love for you to
• Ask polite but firm questions of the casting people about why they chose white actors to play Asian and Inuit characters and report back here with what they say
• Ask why no formal statement has been made by Paramount Pictures or Blinding Edge Pictures (Shyamalan's production company) about the casting controversy and, again, let us know what they say
• Take photos and notes about what you see and hear and share them with us in the comments
• Peacefully and respectfully protest the casting decisions, and tell the local media that you plan to do so. If you want to organize a protest, relevant information regarding applying for permits and such can be found here.

EDIT: drmoonpants is trying to put together a list of those who plan to attend. Please reply to this comment if you think you'll be able to make it so that we can get a headcount.

You should not, under any circumstances
• Spam their voicemail or email with messages
• Harass or insult the casting people in any way or interfere with their ability to do their jobs
• Protest the casting in a manner that is not completely peaceful, polite and respectful
• Confront or disrespect anyone else who shows up to the casting call
• Behave in a manner that would cast a bad light on this movement as a whole

If you cannot make it to the casting call in person, we encourage you to send short, polite messages to the email address above (or leave equally short, polite voicemails) briefly explaining your objections to their casting decisions and asking if and when Blinding Edge Pictures plans to make a statement regarding this controversy.


Jan. 23rd, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
I am kind of tearing out my hair here but I have both a dissertation deadline on Sunday and a lively illness, so I'm not seeing any real way I can be out of the house for any substantial block of time on Saturday. That being said, I am local and perfectly willing to help armchair-organize if need be.

First of all, may I ask that everyone who is planning to attend PLEASE COMMENT HERE so a headcount can get going?

Second of all, it seems unlikely to me that at this late date any protest pulled together will manage to exceed the 75-person and traffic-blocking stipulations that seem to define a demonstration by city ordinance, so I'm not sure if the permit will be necessary. If it does somehow turn out to be necessary, my main concern is that that'll probably have to get done tomorrow. Seems to me like it'd be easier just to avoid blocking traffic -- and stay on the Spectrum's property, which I believe to be less the city's than would be, say, the street. I may just be blithely making things up here, though, if anyone more experienced has an opinion please do chime in.

Third of all, if there does look to be a decent turnout and we are going to start contacting news sources, I would like to suggest (and will try to find a phone number for) the Daily News as prominent among them. Yes, it's a rag, but it has a more than decent readership and it seems in my experience to be uniquely sympathetic to stuff like this.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
I will be there, barring any unforseen emergencies. What time are you thinking people should show up?
Jan. 24th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Actually, I am really sorry to say that due to family stuff I will not be able to get into the city tomorrow. I'll help any other way I can.

Edited at 2009-01-24 03:29 am (UTC)
Jan. 27th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Round Two on February 7th -- at least we have a little more notice this time!
Jan. 23rd, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
We unfortunately can't attend due to distance, however, we just wanted to mention that we have reason to believe the casting people will be expecting protesters to show up. As such, we are crossing our fingers that much harder that we can all whip something together in a day.

GO GO GO! <3
Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Why do you keep referring to yourself as "we"? Are you like a group of people or something Aang-aint-white?
Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Sunday is also Lunar New Year's Eve. A friendly little "I am not amused" gathering sounds like a great way to spend Saturday.

I'd like to go, am about 1hr away from Philly and am willing to pick people up/drop them off on the way. My only difficulty is I know Philadelphia barely at all, and so additional info about gathering location(s), times, directions, parking, etc. would be really helpful.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
Re: (hello!)
Hey, I saw your post! :D It'd be awesome if you could come.

Even though I actually can't go, information I can and will happily provide, as well as helping to coordinate if need be. I'm on the wrong side of the city from you and the Spectrum isn't on much in the way of public transportation lines, though, unfortunately, or I'd offer up my parking lot and train station.

The Spectrum is here, in southwest Philly, just off of 95. It does have its own parking, although unfortunately I have no clue how ludicrously expensive it may be by now. I think it'll at least be better than parking deeper into the city is, though. It's pretty easy to get to from the highway, as I recall.

Not sure who all else might be needing a ride or when people are thinking of meeting up -- one of the reasons I'm trying to do a headcount!
Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Re: (hello!)
So I called the open casting phone number and listened to the message and they're asking people attending the open call to park in Lot H (a pdf of the parking map), and they indicate that the parking is free until 2pm whereupon people entering will be asked to pay for parking up front and then get reimbursed when they go through their casting call. It would be convenient to park there, too, and I doubt the lot would fill up.

The Wachovia Spectrum website has directions, parking info, and mass transit options as well. Slightly tempted to park elsewhere and take the SEPTA in, but I'd like as not get lost on my own.

Edited at 2009-01-23 10:38 pm (UTC)
Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
Re: (hello!)
You are AMAZING. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm going
I'll be there a little bit before ten, I figured I'd park nearby and just set up as close to the restaurant as possible. I'm working on a picket sign, is "Aang Ain't White" sufficient? perhaps something about modern day yellow face? What do you all think? I'm also going to have some pictures on it with a "does not equal" sign between pictures of the actors and the characters. sound good?
Jan. 24th, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: I'm going
Sounds good to me! If you and the other folks on this thread who are going can all coordinate to some degree, maybe you can work out times and stuff?
Jan. 27th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Round Two on February 7th -- at least we have a little more notice this time!


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