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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.

Comments

cielblue87
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
The result
So I'm back from the protest, it was only myself and the lovely Dale (sp?) from this website but we also made two new friends (Rae and Claire) who decided to stay and help our cause instead of going in to audition. I completely forgot to take any pictures there, but the local press did so I will post their pictures as soon as I can find them. Below is a picture of me after the protest (it was my first protest, I'll document the next one better I promise! I was so caught up in staying focused and delivering the message.)
We started inside but they kicked us out almost immediately so we moved to the bottom of the front steps where people came in. A lot of people didn't care, but a lot of people also stopped and listened, although most of them went in to audition anyway, even though they agreed with our cause, disappointing yes, but creating awareness is the first step. Only 4 people turned around and left after listening to what I had to say because they agreed that they wouldn't contribute any time or energy to the movie until something was changed. Some people said some negative comments but nothing outright nasty or angry. A lot of people looked at my reference pictures and saw how deeply ingrained the Asian culture was in the show and agreed that the casting didn't make sense.
We stayed from 9:30 to 1:30 and I was pleasantly surprised how many people sympathized with our cause. The Philadelphia Inquirer took some pictures and took my name as well as some of the other supporters. Channel 3 news was there and the reporter said that even though she regretted wasn't there to cover our story she still completely agreed with our cause and wished us the best of luck. I know they only are allowed to cover the stories they're sent out for but it was nice to have a local anchor person and crew take time out of their busy day to support us. Though the local radio station KYW 1060 COMPLETELY ignored us even though it was interviewing people who auditioned RIGHT in front of us. The interviewees even said the protesters were the best part of the day!
Over all we created a lot of buzz and I made sure every person coming in and out heard our message of equality. I would have loved if every single person would have turned around and left but that obviously wasn't going to happen. Getting people to talk about it is the first step. We also handed out flyers with links to this site and Derek Kim's exceptional blog and and excerpt from his blog.
If there is anything else you want to know, or anything I have forgotten feel free to ask me/I will add more info when I remember it if it is exciting or relevant. Thanks so much for the wonderful support through this site, I wouldn't have had the courage to get up there and shout to strangers without all of you :)
-Charlee

Photobucket
(Anonymous)
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
charlee!

shoot me an email ASAP: min@scaryrealty.com

michael klein from the philadelphia inquirer wants to speak to the protesters!

i will give you his number

THANKS!
aang_aint_white
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Thank you SO MUCH for doing this! I'm SO DAMN PROUD, seriously, and it's amazing that you not only stood your ground and got the message out, you made some new allies and maybe even changed a few minds. And that's at the core of what all of this is about -- not just holding Paramount accountable, but raising awareness and making people think.

Would it be all right with you if we posted about this in a main entry on the blog?
cielblue87
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Sure go for it :) I don't remember Dale's LJ screen name but I'm sure she'll contribute as well.
Re: The result - bluegreenpen - Jan. 25th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
glockgal
Jan. 24th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
You and djinnj are seriously amazing and so very brave. I am crying right now, like really. Hooray to you for going about this with such integrity and getting people informed. Hooray to the media who took an interest in our story!

Thank you thank you THANK YOU.
Re: The result - (Anonymous) - Jan. 24th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The result - aang_aint_white - Jan. 24th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Big time BRO-FIST - (Anonymous) - Jan. 24th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
star_bolt08
Jan. 24th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Thank you all so much for doing this!!! You're all so incredibly brave, and you've made all of us proud. I seriously love you guys! (Especially the people you met there who decided to help out.) I was worrying about you guys all morning, but I'm happy to hear that not only did you get media attention, but you were able to enlighten people, and even led a few to decide not support the film and walk out on the audition altogether. Thanks to you guys, we're really starting to get somewhere. Oh, I can't wait to see the pictures...and the to hopefully see the news story...and the newspaper article... *squeals*
tallycola
Jan. 24th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Only 4 people turned around and left after listening to what I had to say because they agreed that they wouldn't contribute any time or energy to the movie until something was changed.

Honestly, that is a HUGE accomplishment. I'm really proud of you and you should be too! Thing about how many people those 4 are going to tell, and even everybody else who still went in, how many dinner table conversations this is going to inspire? Lots of people are going to start to get it, and that it's not just about Avatar, because of you.
vejiicakes
Jan. 25th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
Re: The result
You freaking ROCK, dude. I wish I could phrase this more eloquently and explain how much it means to me that you went out and did this, although I think "ROCK" has its good points as a descriptive of this scenario :B I've been involved in protests before, and know it takes a MASSIVE amount of courage to be one of the few in a much larger crowd. I'm pleased to hear that you obviously raised awareness and even changed some minds!

Raising a glass to you from all the way west in California's south bay. Thanks so much for doing this :)
vejiicakes
Jan. 25th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Re: The result
Incidentally, would you be able to provide a rough estimate of the types of people going in to audition as extras? Casual or "traditional costume" dressed? Young or old? Caucasian or people of color? Ditto an estimate of the people who seemed to agree with your cause but went in to audition anyway.
Re: The result - cielblue87 - Jan. 25th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand
drmoonpants
Jan. 25th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Re: The result
Man, massive, massive thank yous to you and djinnj. I'm thrilled you guys put in the time and even got to talk to some media people -- it's amazing, and you're amazing. I wish to hell and gone that the timing hadn't been so utterly horrible and I could have been there myself (I think I was slaving over a keyboard literally the whole time the casting call was going on T_T), but I'm ecstatic that you made it and, from the sound of it, were really able to make a difference.

My hat is off to you, and here's hoping we'll all be there next time.

[and clearly I am also sick as a dog because my sentences keep falling apart on me!! ugh]

Edited at 2009-01-25 02:27 am (UTC)
Re: The result - cielblue87 - Jan. 25th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC) - Expand
tryxkittie
Jan. 25th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
Re: The result
I am so incredibly pumped and impressed and overjoyed to hear this. If I didn't live in Canada, I'd be right there with you protesting but I'm glad that, even without large numbers, you stayed strong and delivered the message. And a lot of people listened! That's definitely the first step.

Though the local radio station KYW 1060 COMPLETELY ignored us even though it was interviewing people who auditioned RIGHT in front of us. The interviewees even said the protesters were the best part of the day!

BWAH HA take that KYW!! This issue really is gaining momentum!
opal_skies
Jan. 25th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
Re: The result
I am so, so proud of you. Really, thank you so much for doing this. I only wish I could have stood alongside you, instead of being stuck in California.
avatar_mom
Jan. 25th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
Re: The result
I wanted to tell you that this picture is now my desktop. Hope you don't mind ^_^
jaquenerd
Jan. 25th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
Re: The result
OMG. You and Dale are my new heroes. Like, I'm so proud to be associated (distantly, lol) with you guys. Good Job!

The fact that you guys spread the word and got FOUR (!!!) people to walk out of a job opportunity (especially with this economy) is AMAZING. You guys have made a difference and are just...AMAZING. I just...wow. I applaud you all.

(By the way, very off topic but you sure are a cutie. :P)

Good luck with your interview. I know we're a bunch of geeks and all, but we support you!
wistfuljane
Jan. 25th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Thank you.
djinnj
Jan. 25th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Dude, I so wish I'd gotten there earlier and had the cojones to stay on alone. You are incredible, fabulous, and all that good stuff.

Also, 新年快乐 (happy new year)!
Re: The result - cielblue87 - Jan. 25th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
lizamanynames
Jan. 26th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Amazing story. Thank you so much.
frankincensy
Jan. 26th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
I'm a lurker here, but I just wanted to say thanks so much for doing this... very few people would have the bravery and determination. It's inspirational to read about your protest, and it sounds like you did succeed in raising awareness, which is AWESOME. Well done.
schellibie
Jan. 26th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
<3
ambrmerlinus
Jan. 27th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
Re: The result
Like so many others have said before me, THANK YOU for going out and doing this. I wish I could join you.
little_boodt
Jan. 27th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: The result
That's so awesome that you were able to go and protest. Not to be over-dramatic, but this is how democracy works. I've long been on the fence about the debate over who controls the media, but the controversy over The Last Airbender has proven that, at least in some cases, there is a media elite at work. But such strong protests as this prove that the people aren't mindless and won't just buy mindless jibberish handed down from the top. This is grassroots if ever I saw it.

Again, way to go on the protest front, I wish I lived closer (or that my car hadn't been wrecked by the snow here) so I could go too. Major Kudos!
reflectionriver
Jan. 27th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
Re: The result
Dude.

You just made my day.

Unbelievable. If a casting call comes to my area, I'm going to do my best to protest, too.

<3
nilecrocodile
Jan. 27th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Re: The result
Being brave enough to actually go out there and protest...that's just so amazing. You make me so proud to be a part of this fandom. <3
its_just_me_now
Jan. 28th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: The result
Like everyone else has said, THANK YOU for going out and doing that. Even though only four people turned around and walked out after hearing what you guys had to say, you were still able to raise awareness and attract some attention, and that's the main goal here. I wish I could have been there, but I don't think my dad or mom would ever let me do so, and even though I do live in PA, my mom is paranoid of the city.
I really wish I could have been there with you guys. You were so very brave for going out and doing that, I'm very proud, and we all appreciate it.

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