M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Miana Kenobi, Dec 10, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. StarDude Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5
    James Newton Howard and Andrew Lesnie (cinematographer of Lord of the Rings, King Kong, etc) are now attached.

    At least this will have the scope and production value it deserves. People need to cool it with calling people racists on here. Shyamalan/Paramount auditioned thousands of kids, and the creators of the show have stood behind Shyamalan. Avatar is a fantasy world and none of the characters should be bound to any particular skin color. If they had cast a black actor as Zuko, for instance, would THAT be racist? I think people on here should be a little more sensitive to this kind of thing.

    EDIT: I see Miana Kenobi has already made this point for me. :p
  2. Mr_Black Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 1
    One aspect about this debate baffles me. The cast for the original show, upon which the movie is based, is dominated by White actors. The main characters of Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph are all voiced by Whites. Zuko is the only marquee character played by someone of Asian descent (his voice actor is a Filipino-American). Iroh was played by an Asian man, who got sick and died between seasons, and was summarily replaced by a White guy who sort of sounded like him.

    I wasn't a fan of the show when it premiered, so I've been asking around at the forums generally opposed to the casting of White actors to play these roles whether there was an uproar over the initial casting. I haven't gotten a clear answer either way. I've been reminded of the difference between animated characters and real-world people (thank God, because until someone pointed it out, I was dreadfully convinced the only difference between a two-dimensional person and a three-dimensional person was the perspective one viewed them from).

    I've also been told it's not who is hired to play the part, but the vocal character and quality they bring to the part. Yes, I know, children are usually played by women, aliens, monsters, and robots are played by whoever can convincingly roar or buzz. My point is, if the ethnic culture and traditions on display in this show are so vital to its meaning and popularity, perhaps it would've been prudent to reflect those qualities--or fight for their right to be reflected--in the casting of voice actors. If the Asian live-action contingent of actors is so easily brushed off, it's reasonable to determine the Asian voice actor community faces even more pronounced hardship, particularly within the Western pop-cultural sphere, since their vocation is less visible by nature, and they'd have fewer opportunities to make themselves known.

    I believe using the common voice-actor qualification of "it's not who plays the part, but how talented they are" is self-defeating in this instance, because if Noah Ringer turns out to be the emerging actor of his generation, his errant casting will be validated.

    The issue I'm concerned about isn't the pencil, ink, paint, expression, action, and voice meshing together to make a cohesive performance out of a two-dimensional illustration. It isn't even about the state of the actors generating the performance, whether they be young, old, man, woman, or racially separate from the character they're voicing. It's whether this fan community acted as aversely to the initial casting of majorly non-Asian actors for Asian influenced/inspired characters and milieu, or not. If there was no such original resistance, then the forces behind the movie have an out for their present casting decisions. They could trot out Eisen, Whitman, De Sena, and Flower, point out their collective Whiteness, and say "If this cast is the foundation of the T.V. show, which is the basis for our adaptation, then what's wrong with the movie?"

    Even though animation and live-action are different media with different expectations and stakes on behalf of the producers and consumers, there is a precedent in place for a largely White cast cashing checks for the performances they provided in creating a representation of a culture and worldview reflective of Asian traditions, characteristics, and value systems. Paramount could conceivably leverage the White-centered casting history of Avatar to define their ideal future for the film franchise, which means mixing in lots of White to make the most green while avoiding negative spin because they have the original core cast to support their biased racial decisions.
  3. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    James Newton Howard's doing the score? Not sure if I'm worried or excited about that.
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I am fairly new to the program (just completed the series about a month and a half ago), so I guess I wouldn't know. However, in my experience most animated shows--especially all new, original animated shows--don't and can't have a significant fan presence until at least they are preparing for debut (eg after the cast is chosen, and the show is mostly set). That's especially the case since I'd say the degree of crossover appeal (to those outside the target demographic) was somewhat unpredictable, and the target demos aren't even old enough to articulate the kind of concerns being expressed in the first place. Even setting all this aside, though, it's sort of a tangential discussion. It is far more plausible that a child would be able to look at the animation of a character and identify with their racial background than that a child would be able to see past the talent of the voice actor, determine their actual ethnicity (or else be motivated to go look it up) and then associate the character's ethnicity with the voice of the person that plays him.
  5. Mr_Black Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 1
    animated shows--especially all new, original animated shows--don't and can't have a significant fan presence until at least they are preparing for debut (eg after the cast is chosen...

    The shows I'm familiar with or have followed in the past usually had some sort of announcement at a popular forum, i.e. comic-con, Paley fest, etc. Sometimes this is followed by a Q&A session, and sometimes the session includes cast as well as crew, but not always.

    I'd say the degree of crossover appeal (to those outside the target demographic) was somewhat unpredictable, and the target demos aren't even old enough to articulate the kind of concerns being expressed in the first place.

    The reaction to what's going on with the live-action adaptation shows Avatar's reach extends far beyond it's target demo--take you and me, for example--oftentimes made up of fans familiar with the creators'/crew's previous shows, so there is an opportunity to form a basis of opinion about the direction a show is going in at a fairly early stage in the process, enough to, say, protest casting decisions, especially with the options afforded by the internet. My point, and part of what I'm confused by, is why there was not a significant negative reaction towards the original cast from the Avatar fan community by those experienced and/or passionate enough to be aware of racial difference and racial representation. To allow one majority White cast to go about their business establishing and being paid to perform these characters while not allowing another White cast to achieve similar objectives seems hypocritical, especially when the cast of the show is more closely associated with the project, given the nature of how T.V. is. In Avatar's case, 61 half-hour shows go a much longer way towards establishing deep mythology and character than an approximately 90 minute movie spin-off.

    It is far more plausible that a child would be able to look at the animation of a character and identify with their racial background than that a child would be able to see past the talent of the voice actor...

    Agreed. In my experience, children are lucky/intuitive enough to like or dislike something based on their own sense of whether it is worth liking or not, and are generally unconcerned with specific, socially conscious details (If Elmo was green, say, instead of red, I doubt they would notice or care as long as he made them laugh and feel good). The innocence and purity essential to a child's perspective is enviable.

    In my own personal opinion, which has been unfortunately tainted, an animated character isn't anything but an animated character, and they have no ultimate real-world analogue, especially if they are part of an overtly fantastic setting. Aang and his gang clearly have Asian influence and inspiration in them. Even so, I don't believe the characters or their world are Asian. Realistically being something, and being inspired by something realistic, are two very different things. If Aang, et. al. are Asian people, then Bugs Bunny is a rabbit and Homer Simpson is a man. I believe making one-to-one correlations between a collection of lines and paints and the living and breathing is very dangerous, and does a disservice to the imaginative aspect inherent in the more surreal disciplines of illustration and animation.

    Having said as much, I support the argument for greater representation of Asian people in the forthcoming film, because I believe opportunities for Asians to be represented in a pop-cultural venue--let alone one as visible and far-reaching as a dramatic movie--are more limited than any particular group of people, minor or major, except perhaps the disabled. The Avatar movie is one of the very rare instances where Asians can be at the forefront of a story which pays an excellent homage to their traditions and culture in as non-stereotypical a way as possible, and I believe they should be a greater part of it.

    If I had been a fan (or even aware) of the Avatar show since its inception/debut, I would hav
  6. StarDude Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2001
    star 5
    Shyamalan has stated that the eastern aspects of the show are what attracted him to it. I wouldn't expect that aspect to be downplayed at all in spite of the cast.

    EDIT: More news:

    Philadelphia's CBS3 reports on the casting call that happened this weekend in the city. The casting director for the film, Dee Dee Rickets, talks about casting for extras in Philadelphia. Hundreds of Hollywood hopefuls lined up and waited for an opportunity to appear in an upcoming film shooting in the Philadelphia area.
    "I am a firebender! And I breath fire and puff it out," exclaimed one optimist who dressed the part.

    "I like Philly because they've got real people looks," said Dee Dee Ricketts, the casting director for the film.

    Ricketts, who has worked as casting director on major motion pictures like Tropic Thunder and The Happening, feels as though the genuineness of the people in Philadelphia lends to the realism of the project.

    "Philly is a great place to find extras, people here bring a great authenticity to the film," Ricketts said.

    Shooting on the film is scheduled to begin in April and there is the possibility of another casting call in the area before shooting starts.

    For more information contact lastairbendercasting@gmail.com or call the hotline, 215-574-7878



    Lots more at mnightfans.com
  7. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I would say it not only "extends beyond the target demo" but (at least in terms of being able to articulate it) it's found exclusively outside the target demo. Further, there are a significant amount of people who might be unhappy with an all white cast (once they find out about it) but who do not follow the industry as closely as you are suggesting (eg to the point they would know of DiMartino's previous work, etc). I myself had never heard of any of the show's creators before I stumbled onto this show. And, checking IMDB now, I don't see much significant work (as writers/creators) from either of the shows creators, and many of the major writers. For most of them, this is by far the mots significant item on their resume, the rest being a few assorted episodes of the Simpsons, Mission Hill, King of the Hill, or Futurama. I don't see where their role would be big enough ot have created an independent fan base of any kind, let alone one that would logically follow them in a crossover from adult animated comedy programs to a children's animated adventure series.

    I am just not convinced a substantial enough fan community existed (or plausibly could have) at that point in production.

    Even setting aside my objections about why this is probably not what actually happened, I don't think this scenario would be hypocritical. While voice actors are very important to an animated show, I think the way that the character is drawn has a much greater influence on how the show is perceived. Consider, for instance, gender representation in cartoons. I think one would be hard-pressed to argue that part of the reason that a girls might find it easy to identify with Wonder Woman is that she shares their sex. Or at the very least, girl's recognize here as such, and so are seeing a woman being portrayed as a hero in popular media. In the same way, an Asian child can note the Asian looking characters of Avatar and identify it as an example of people of their ethnicity being shown in a heroic role by popular media. This also goes to your concern below about "socially conscious details." While they may not yet grasp the significance of these sorts of things in the way they will later, I think it is naive to imagine that children could not notice such clear differences as between a male and female character, or white versus non-white characters. They are similarly capable of, over time, perceiving the patterns in how each is represented in our culture.


  8. Mr_Black Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 1
    I myself had never heard of any of the show's creators before I stumbled onto this show.

    I wasn't familiar with the creators either, but their voice director is what initially drew me to Avatar. I've followed her since I was a kid watching the early 90's Batman animated series.

    I am just not convinced a substantial enough fan community existed (or plausibly could have) at that point in production.

    Maybe not, I don't know. I wasn't a fan of the show back when it started or finished airing new episodes. I do believe Avatar's premiere numbers were the highest in the history of the network, but whether that was for the series itself or a particular season (after the first), I'm not curious enough to look up right now. My point is, if the show achieved such numbers, it must have been highly promoted beforehand. Possibly enough so a substantial fanbase could've existed at an early juncture, and that hypothetical fanbase could've made the same argument against the White casting of the show as they are now for the movie. But as far as I can gather from discussions I've been a part of and write-ups for Avatar in trade publications while the show was airing, it was a non-issue. And if the argument wasn't there as soon as rumors of the show existing hit press, which is understandable, why not during its three season run? Or, perhaps most illustriously, when Mako died and was replaced by Greg Baldwin? The White voice-actor cast not being mentioned, debated, or protested seems at least strange to me, and at most hypocritical. If you disagree, so be it. Anyway, at this point, anything said negative or positive about the casting practices of the show or the movie seems moot; the casting calls going out for the movie are focusing on extras and background characters, which says the main cast is pretty much locked in if the focus is now on the filler.

    While voice actors are very important to an animated show, I think the way that the character is drawn has a much greater influence on how the show is perceived.

    In the best situation, both are balanced with equal importance to achieve the ideal quality cartoons have in merging wholly invented sound and picture to create something totally imaginative, realistically impossible to achieve, and yet still able to create a remarkable, relatable impression on the audience.

    In my own personal opinion, the voice is the key to establishing, expanding, and defining the characters and the world they live in. I can forgive bad animation if excellent voice-acting carries it (ex: The Transformers movie from the '80s: "One shall stand, one shall fall!" Gets me every time). On the other side, a specific show or movie could have the most cutting edge, pristine, beautiful animation ever seen, but if the voice-acting is grating or unskillful, I can't watch it. I've abandoned many an anime which has seen popular and professional recommendation on the basis of its visual art because I couldn't stand the voice-acting. On the more homegrown side of things, I firmly believe Looney Tunes and the Simpsons would not have endured for seven decades plus and two decades plus respectively without Mel Blanc and Dan Castellanetta.

    I think one would be hard-pressed to argue that part of the reason that a girls might find it easy to identify with Wonder Woman is that she shares their sex.

    I'm not arguing the ease with which like likes like on the basis of any defining feature (age, gender, race, etc.) There's an undeniable appeal to seeing the self reflected in culture, popular or otherwise, particularly if specific instances of exposure are rare or stereotypical.

    I think it is naive to imagine that children could not notice such clear differences

    I never said children couldn't discern those details, only that they have less experience with the ramifications of mitigating social factors, which, in Avatar's case, are racial and cultural respect and representation. The post above the one I made that you're responding to says, in referenc
  9. Dawud786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Give this a read.

    It's from the Asian Pop column in the San Francisco Chronicle:

    'Avatar' an Asian thing- why isn't the cast?
    Jeff Yang
    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    When is an Asian cartoon not an Asian cartoon? The answer to this Zen dilemma is at the heart of the latest high-octane kerfuffle clogging the Intertubes - one that's pulled into its vortex two of the most celebrated Asian American creators in comics: Gene Yang, National Book Award finalist for his graphic novel, "American Born Chinese," and Derek Kirk Kim, whose work has won comics' most prestigious laurels, the Xeric, Ignatz, Eisner and Harvey awards.

    That's because the two happen to be passionate devotees of Nickelodeon's animated TV series "Avatar: The Last Airbender." The show completed its third and final season last year only to have the cable network green-light a live-action, big-screen adaptation, which was greeted with both anticipation and anxiety by the show's burgeoning fan base.

    Last month, with the unveiling of the film's principal cast, the fans' worst fears were realized, prompting self-proclaimed "Avatards" - chief among them 'toon titans Yang and Kim - to launch a protest that's generated torrents of both support and criticism.

    The whole controversy might be trivial if it weren't for the fact that "Avatar" is a genuine pop-culture sensation, acclaimed by critics, adored by fans and, yes, wildly profitable.

    One reason Asian Americans such as Yang and Kim have been drawn into the show's orbit is that it has hit it big despite - many would say because of - its richly Asian-inspired setting. The core ideas are drawn from Hindu, Taoist and Buddhist philosophy; its character names - Aang, Katara, Toph Bei Fong - incorporate Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian phonemes; and its visual identity is modeled on traditional Asian iconography.

    So when the core cast of the "Avatar" movie was revealed, hard-core fans recoiled - not because the actors are mostly unknowns, drawn from open auditions across the country, but because, well, they're white.

    This is far from the first controversy regarding the casting of Asian roles with Caucasian actors. Last year saw an outcry over the "whitewashing" of "21," the film about blackjack prodigies whose real-life counterparts were a group of Asian American MIT undergrads. But for fans of "Avatar," this casting is an even greater affront, not least because the show's primary target audience is 6- to 11-year-olds - kids who may not know the specifics of its references but are undoubtedly aware of and attracted to its cultural origins.

    "These are kids growing up with manga," Kim says. "They're not only comfortable with Asian concepts, they're fascinated by them. To think that they won't come to a live-action version unless it's cast with white actors - that's really a shockingly ignorant viewpoint. These kids aren't watching Jackie Chan movies and thinking, 'Yikes! I wish he were a white guy!' "

    But here's where the plot begins to snarl. "Avatar" isn't meant to mirror existing Asian history, imagined future or mythological canon. It's clearly set in an original fantasy world - invented by two white Americans, Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino. Many of the voice actors for the original series are white as well. And though the actors selected for the big-screen version are white, the director who chose those actors is one of the few top-tier Asian American filmmakers in Hollywood, M. Night Shyamalan.

    It's an object lesson in how hard it is to maintain claims of authenticity and cultural ownership in a world where boundaries are rapidly beginning to blur. If it's all right for white guys to come up with an "Asian" story and even voice it behind the scenes, why is it not all right for white guys (and girls) to portray that story onscreen?

    But there's more to the argument against the casting of "Avatar" than a claim to racial justification. In fact, it's arguably a more powerful case than the one against "21." The creators of the series have stated that the show was designed
  10. Mr_Black Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 1
    The movie "21" was a reimagining of real life, not a documentary, and thus free to remake truth in the pursuit of what its producers thought was commercially viable. By contrast, the "Avatar" movie is being presented as a direct translation of its source material - which by definition demands adherence to the series' internal, spiritual truth.

    I find this section eerie and perplexing. It's essentially permitting the rearrangement of real people, places, and events (the Asian students and their schemes, which the 21 movie is based on) in order to fit an imaginary dramatic context with basic profiteering aims--"...free to remake truth in the pursuit of what its producers thought was commercially viable"--while placing the wholly imaginary characters, places, and events showcased in Avatar's mythology on a loftier, more unassailable tier of truth and resonance.

    When drawings trump people in the respectful representation department, priorities are seriously misaligned.
  11. Dawud786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Mind you, this is an Asian American writing the piece in question... and he's not saying 21 wasn't objectionable in the Asian community... it obviously was, and that is affirmed. He's just saying intellectually... 21 has a better case to make as it's not telling the story it was based on exactly as it happened and is highly fictionalized...even at the expense of the ethnic origins of the principle characters involved. Avatar, on the other hand, is intended as an homage to Asian animation, film-making and story conventions... as well as culture, martial arts and(despite the writer of the column saying this isn't so) mythology and philosophy. Moreover, the principle characters... supporting characters and background characters are all identifiably Asian and live an Asian lifestyle of ages past. Dwelling in structures of especially Chinese design, as well as clothing and weaponry and armor... and even dine on primarily Chinese cuisine. The Air Nomads are a mixing of Tibetan and Shaolin Buddhist monks who practice the Taoist-inspired martial art of Ba Gua Zhang in the form of Airbending.

    The entire atmosphere of the world of Avatar is overwhelmingly Chinese, Japanese and Korean with dashes of other Asian cultures in the mix. It's imaginationally ludicrous for an adult to plunk Anglo-Saxon people into that setting, and while kids of a certain age aren't going to be phased by it... other kids in the very target demographic WILL notice this oddity of having principal characters portrayed by people that stick out like sore thumbs in a medieval East Asian setting playing characters with vaguely Asian "sounding" names practicing Asian martial arts and espousing Asian philosophy. Especially if those kids in said demographic have used Avatar as a springboard to introduce themselves to Asian cinema. So it stands to reason that many of them ARE watching Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies... perhaps especially The Forbidden Kingdom... as well as other films from Hong Kong perhaps featuring Shaolin monks. These kids have also now seen Kung Fu Panda, which is internally admitted to be set in China despite it obviously being an even more highly fantasy-ized version of China, Chinese culture and Chinese martial arts. Those animals are, for all intents and purposes, Chinese animals. You see what I'm getting at here? This is even more true with kids whose parents are Chinese martial arts enthusiasts, and I say this with absolute certainty.... there are many children and parents who are fans of this show that come from the world of martial arts who are already Sino-philes. They will notice, and they have noticed and they have something to say about it.

    The Lord of the Rings argument for why an Avatar movie should feature Asian/Asian American actors in the roles is the most pertinent here. Middle Earth is obviously a highly fantasy-ized world, one that isn't supposed to be the world we live in, it's a world of mythic proportions telling mythic tales... but it would ring untrue to the source material to present a film as Lord of the Rings an
  12. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Though he's made some thought-provoking points, I tend to disagree with Mr_Black's assessment of the matter, and am inclined to agree with the general viewpoints of Dawud786 and Jeff Yang. I am not of Asian descent (except insofar as I'm part Native American, a people believed to be descended from Ice-Age Asian emigrants); however one does not need to be Asian to perceive a pro-white bias here, a clear instance of racial prejudice.

    I hope that Shyamalan, the studio, or both, will soon make a statement addressing the problem, and explaining their reasons for hiring white actors to portray characters set in an Asian-influenced fantasy world.
  13. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    [link=http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1603949/story.jhtml]Jesse McCartney talks Avatar, and MTV fails at fact-checking[/link].

    :oops:
  14. Dawud786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Yep, I'm truly disgusted.

    With the confirmation of McCartney as Zuko now the entire leadership and major characters of the Fire Nation have to fit a uniformity of racial background to make any sense whatsoever.

    I'll be buying the Avatar: The Last Airbender collections rather than going to see this movie.

    Also, on another very important ethical note for the film adaptation of this cartoon... the martial arts consultant(s) for the show got screwed over and won't be working on the movie. They are pissed.
  15. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    [link=http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/around_town/the_scene/Your-Face-Should-Be-in-the-Movies.html]Though the extra casting is looking for people of Near and Far Eastern, Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean and Latino decent.[/link]

  16. Quiet_Mandalorian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 5
    That would seem to reflect the tendencies of the series' visuals.
  17. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I think you're focusing too much on the medium, and not enough on the story that's trying to be conveyed. In 21, there was no inherent racial message. It was just a story that, in its original form, happened to involve Asians. Much as I outlined for Wild Wild West. The fact that the lead characters were white weren't a central part of the story, but coincidental. Thus, it's not really a problem to change the characters races in either case.

    By contrast, when you're dealing with something like Static Shock, Lord of the Rings, or Avatar, in each case the culture being portrayed is an integral part of the story. Lord of the Rings doesn't draw on just any, mythology. It's not Chinese, Egyptian, or Greek. It made sense to keep casting faithful with the source material of the myths they were drawing on. Similarly, Static Shock isn't a story about a generic superhero with electrical powers, but the story of a black superhero in an urban environment. In the same way as all of the above, Avatar is a story that doesn't draw randomly from cultures for inspiration. Most all the inspirations is Asian, and so it only makes sense for the casting to stay true to that.

  18. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
  19. Dawud786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    Yeah, the casting choices for the Avatar movie are akin to casting a white dude to play [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Vulcan]Black Vulcan[/link] or [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Chief]Apache Chief[/link] in a Super Friends movie. Characters that were created specifically to diversify the Super Friends.
  20. Quiet_Mandalorian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 5
    No, it's more like casting white actors to play Vulcans, really.
  21. Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2000
    star 8
    Or the fact that Goku is being played by a white actor.
  22. Dawud786 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    And that movie looks like trash, and people are pissed about that too.
  23. Quiet_Mandalorian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 5
    It looks fun. :)
  24. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    But there was no precedent, prior to the casting of the original Star Trek series, for Vulcan to be depicted as an Asiatic culture. The first actor to play a Vulcan was white (of Russian Jewish descent); this firmly established the skin pigmentation and general physical features of a Vulcan.

    With Avatar, the culture has already been established as Asiatic, prior to the casting of the principles.

    You do see the difference here, don't you?
  25. Quiet_Mandalorian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 5
    As far as my point goes, there is no difference, really. In both cases you have white actors being cast as human or at least humanoid characters whose physical features do not, in many cases, conform directly to real-world ethnic groups, but who generally end up looking more white than anything else anyway.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.