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Making ourselves clear

First, we've set up another way you can help us make our voices heard! An online petition has been created, which will soon be delivered by hand to Paramount Pictures and the Kennedy/Marshall company. This is a great opportunity to let them know the scale of this movement, and we would strongly encourage you not only to sign it, but also to pass it along to friends and family you think may be interested.



We've also created a website, Racebending.com, with more information and resources about this movement, including a press release. Discussion of the issues surrounding The Last Airbender and its cast also continues at racebending.

There has been some confusion regarding the motivations and goals of this movement. As such we'd like to take a moment to make ourselves and our intentions absolutely clear.

We all very dearly love the original Avatar: The Last Airbender show. We want the live action adaptation of it to be successful, and for it to be a project we can wholeheartedly support. It has deeply saddened all of us to watch events unfold as they have. None of us want this project to fail.

However. We cannot support The Last Airbender if the production continues on its current path.

We believe the roles of Sokka, Katara and Aang -- the three heroes of this story -- should be recast to reflect the races and cultures of those characters. The current situation, in which three white heroes will be saving the world from a race of dark-skinned Firebenders, is one we cannot in good conscience support or endorse. On a related note, we would also urge Paramount to cast the remainder of the Water Tribe and Air Nomad characters with actors of Inuit or East Asian decent.

Ultimately, we would encourage Paramount Pictures to work closely with the Media Action Network for Asian Americans and the East West Players to find ways to make The Last Airbender a film we can all stand behind.

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
anotokino
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I don't usually sign online petitions because I'm paranoid about getting my real name out there, but I made an exception for this one. Let's hope they'll actually listen!
schellibie
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Signed the petition, will be linking this around A LOT.

I really hope this can make a difference, and you guys did a fantastic job making it clear what this movement is really about.
(Deleted comment)
sandvich
Mar. 19th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Signed! ♥
japantheman
Mar. 19th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
I was #286 or so. I spread the word to the IMDB board and TV.com board (though the tv.com Avatar board seems to be full of people apatheic about it. The "It's just a movie" and "It's about the acting not their colour" arguments) I'll be emailing a few friends and family I know are on my side this weekend.

I like the way you guys have phrased the sentiments about this movie. I try to explain that in my posts as best I can but I'm not nearly as eloquent, it seems.

Has anyone brought up the petition on the avatarspiritmedia.net boards? I'm not on those boards so someone who is whould definately do it if it hasn't been done yet.
wonder_gurrl
Mar. 19th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
SIGNED! And am I glad for today's post! Iw as beginning to think the movement had died. What does everyone think about the current casting?
glockgal
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
What does everyone think about the current casting?

Head on over to the racebending community, which has ongoing discussions about the movie and its casting!
lexy_opal
Mar. 20th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Signed! Good to see the movement still going strong.
zukpager305
Mar. 20th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
wow, the list grew by 1,000 people in two days, since i signed it!
star_bolt08
Mar. 20th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Signed it the first day! My name's somewhere in the 1-20 range. ^_^ I checked about 30 minutes ago, and we were up to 1,539 signatures. That looks pretty good, considering it's been less than a week. And I just have to say that the website's new design looks amazing! It so professional looking! But anyway, thanks for updating! I was started to get worried too, since there hasn't been a lot of traffic here lately. Nice to see we're still in business. :D
opal_skies
Mar. 20th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm always impressed by the eloquence with which this journal expresses the points of this movement.
Also, the joy I get in refreshing the petition page and seeing a higher number each time is ridiculous. :D I'm also very excited that this petition will be hand-delivered. Heck, I wish I could be there, or do it myself!
ivy_chan
Mar. 20th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Signed! And agreed with the above comments that the points were all put out very eloquently.
keithmex17
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
Excellent and concise summation of the current situation. You have my support.
paperclipchains
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
Racebending.com looks really snappy, and I love the visual essays!
qiushuwen
Mar. 20th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
Live Action anything is a horrific idea, except for cosplay, but if it must be live action, then they should at least do it right.
nthdraft
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
signed. And so did my roommate.

Producers should ask themselves if, in this economy, they want to alienate their core audience. Movies cost millions, and word of mouth can still make or break them. Going about it with the attitude of "screw the fans the property already has, instead we'll so dazzle the mainstream audiences that don't know any different with the characters and we'll have ourselves a hit!" and the proposed trilogy will end at ONE.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 20th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
I just signed the petition. I think there was well over 2000 signatures already! Way to go guys! 8D I'll get my sister to sign it as soon as I get home.
pretty_angel
Mar. 21st, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Signed it a few days ago. And while I think it's a good idea I'm very disappointed about the huge amount of useless signatures - like people who are just signing with their first names or even internet nick names. :C
star_bolt08
Mar. 21st, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Wait...Is that true? I didn't know that. You'll have to forgive me for not knowing any better, but I didn't think I've signed an online petition before so I had no idea. I didn't sign with my last name. I checked before signing and saw that a few others didn't either so I assumed it would be okay. If this is true, then should we leave a note somewhere telling people to sign with their full names? And I'm not sure if this will help, but should I resign it with my full name? I don't want my signature to end up being useless...D:
pretty_angel
Mar. 21st, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
I mean what does look more credible: a list of random first names and internet aliases or a real full name (preferably with correct hometown)? People who are not signing with their full name appear not to stand behind this petition with all consequences.
It's like the protest thing on facebook: A hundred people said they would come and in the end it was like 10 or something.
I know it's good intentions but it doesn't help. The most important is that this movement doesn't look like a bunch of fantarts. But those people signing with nothing than "Raven" don't shed a good light on the petition or movement as a whole. :C
star_bolt08
Mar. 21st, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, and I agree. I do think it's a bad idea to sign with an online name, but as for people signing with only their first name, I think that it's mostly just a matter of people not wanting their full names floating around the internet. I think I'll just go back an re-sign it, that way, if there is a way to delete the useless ones, signature will still be there in some form.
pretty_angel
Mar. 21st, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, full names on the internet may be a problem. But then again, the idea that you're totally anonymous is an illusion. If people really wanted to they could track you down no matter what. Usually no one gives a shit which leads to the feeling that you can do what you want. It gets a bit ugly then when someone actually does track you down for whatever reasons. (Like the company you're applying to and they find some embarrassing photos of you drunken at a party or some stuff like that...)

So basically the safest thing to do is just stay away from everything that could harm your reputation or bank account. Then you don't have to hide your real name. :3
azithelonious
Mar. 21st, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
Isn't there a way those names could be deleted?

I don't think anyone wants to lower the amount of signatures (or disregard those people) - but if those signatures are not going to be taken seriously anyway then maybe removing them would give the petition that much more credibility...?
pretty_angel
Mar. 21st, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
I have no idea if that's possible. I actually don't know petitiononline that good. And I agree, a shorter list with real names would be more credible than a long list with nicknames and such.
utils
Mar. 21st, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
"petitiononline.com"? Really? I just lost all respect for this place. And what's worse, anyone important that was taking you seriously before will cease to do so.

I'm embarrassed for everyone involved. You just shot yourselves in the foot. What a joke.

You know, there's still a chance to delete the petition before anyone important sees it and labels this a group of 8-year-old fucktards.
keithmex17
Mar. 21st, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
If you would stop and read for a second:

"An online petition has been created, which will soon be delivered by hand to Paramount Pictures and the Kennedy/Marshall company"

"DELIVERED BY HAND"

But, oh, go right on ahead. Ridicule the people that are trying anything and everything in their power to make this objection to the casting heard:

-A Massive letter-writing campaign
-Reaching out to industry professionals like Derek Kim and Gene Yang
-Gaining the ear MANAA and the East West Players
-Organizing protests at extras castings

This petition is yet another (and perhaps the last) line in the sand.
aang_aint_white
Mar. 21st, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
We're doing everything that we can on a variety of fronts.

If you have suggestions we would love to hear them.
nthdraft
Mar. 21st, 2009 07:15 am (UTC)
no need to be embarrassed. Really. We'll do fine without your hard work, concise input, and political savvy.

Oh wait that's right, you're doing NOTHING. You skimmed the post without reading it fully, had a knee-jerk reaction with an assholier-than-thou attitude, and shot yourself in the foot while it was in your mouth.

But you're not here to do anything, are you? You're here to say you were here so that if we're successful you can claim a hand in it and if we are not you can say "I told you so."

In which case, we really will do fine without you. Problem solved!
utils
Mar. 21st, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
I support the letter writing and took part in it myself. But the online petition lends zero credibility to the cause and hurts it in every possible way. Online petitions are a joke because anybody can sign and doing so a trivial 5-second exercise. When I saw the writing campaign I thought to myself, "Finally, an activist group that gets it."

Up to now everything has been great. I even like the signs up up and NYCC. But the petitiononline stuff... I guess it can't be helped. It's like how some people no matter how long they've been online they still think a website loaded with animated GIFs, excessive flash and auto-playing music is still a good idea.

Petitiononline is amateur hour. I really thought you guys were better than this.
aang_aint_white
Mar. 21st, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
And I say again: If you have suggestions for things we SHOULD be doing and resources we SHOULD use, please share them.

But posting discouraging and dismissive comments when we are all feeling pretty damn discouraged already is about the least helpful thing you could do.

Edited at 2009-03-21 04:52 pm (UTC)
keithmex17
Mar. 21st, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
This is far from constructive criticism and is borderline flaming.

You praise the other avenues AAW has sought but somehow petitiononline (with the gambit of personal delivery) is the magical jenga-piece that topples everything else? Get real.

Keith Hernandez does not approve. No play for Mister Gray.
tryxkittie
Mar. 21st, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
I'm in the 200's :D I signed it a while ago and then BOOM more than 2000 signatures!

Still, I'd like it if we were able to start another letter writing campaign, this time to Greenland media. Although I don't know if that would count as harassing them so we should be careful when considering it. Still, it would at least show Greenland media outlets that we're serious about it. Also, of course, our letters would be as polite and professional as possible, even more so than our letters to Paramount.

Of course, if we do that then it might be good to have a new post with the media contact information and a sample letter. That's the only thing I can think of doing during this stage of the game. I'm a huge advocate of meaningful/visible boycotting, but that's only if, at the time the movie comes out, the casting hasn't changed.

Hmm....I wonder whether MANNA or EWP has been contact yet?
sapphire_fuego
Mar. 21st, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
I signed the petition on the first day it was out, and I can't believe how much its grown since then!

I'm with you. I know that AAW has contacted the Greenland media and I sent off a letter, but I want something more official from our group to go off of if it's the right way to go.

I know what you mean about being respectful, these people have direct links to the Inuit tribe and since we really haven't had actual Inuit's supporting us, that I know of, I'm not sure how they are going to react. One of my friends was going go try and get some Native Organizations involved but I haven't heard anything back from him.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Noah Ringer Picture Released
A picture was just released of Noah Ringer

http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/8118/noahringerqg6.jpg
aang_aint_white
Mar. 25th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Re: Noah Ringer Picture Released
That photo has resurfaced before, and confirmed a fake unfortunately.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
This needs to be spread around.
I've signed the petition and while the numbers are pretty good, 3500 signatures won't be enough. We'd need over 50,000+ signatures to make a serious dent and for Paramount to get with the program.

Might be a good idea to spread this petition around to any colleges and universities. I know quite a few of you have already talked to fellow students, teachers and professors about this, so maybe, if the college has a community website there could be a link to this site and to the petition.

Also, getting contact with more civil rights groups is vital. Especially those involved in the entertainment industry.

If Paramount is going to understand the seriousness of this and is forewarned to NEVER pull this crap again, then this site and the petition need a TON of promotion!
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )

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