Online Rants

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Life
Tags: ,

I’ve stayed away from the whole Shyamalan-Airbender racial thing because I find it rather annoying.  Everything seems to be about ‘race’ these days(don’t get me started on video games).  While I do understand the complaints about trying to stay true to the original material, it seems like things get way out of hand.  After reading some things on the I09 website I found one guy’s reply that I like.  There were some replies to this comment but it boiled down to the whole “he’s not hiring the right ethnicity, might as well strip the whole story of it’s Asian influences.”

For people to go nuts over the ethnicity of the cast when he’s clearly hiring a mix of actors of all ethnic backgrounds (judging from all publicity material I’ve seen) is nothing short of ridiculous to me.

The director himself hails from India, for crying out loud. What conceivable reason would he have to snub actors of Eastern descent? Demanding that he should hire people of a certain ethnicity regardless of their acting talent would certainly not be any less racist than turning people away for the same reason.

I think people who still complain about this needs more interesting things to occupy their lives with.  -byers

Other comments made a lot of sense, especially a person mentioning the diversity of actors in general:

I’m very sympathetic to diversity in casting, both for ethical reasons and practical ones (particularly when you’re casting soldiers or other people who dress alike, it can be really difficult for audiences to tell characters apart if they’re all the same ethnicity.)

But I’ve also spent time actually casting projects, and it’s really easy to throw stones at someone for not casting the “correct” ethnicity or believing that he or she just didn’t look hard enough when you haven’t done the job yourself. Because the simple fact of the matter is that for a lot of reasons, the talent pool you have to work with is different sized for different ethnicities, ages, and degrees of able-bodiedness. And you simply have a lot more choices if you cast a character as white (or to a lesser extent, black) than if you limit yourself to Asian actors.

That doesn’t mean you should try your hardest and press your casting director to beat the bushes and look beyond the usual suspects for potential candidates. But often times directors look at literally hundreds of candidates for an important role before finding the right person for it, and the difference between almost right and right actor can be narrow but critical in the success of a project.

So again, while diversity is a laudable goal and should be pushed for hard, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a director claiming that he or she had to look beyond a preferred ethnic category to find the right actor.  -Zack Stentz

On a lighter note, when I heard this TV series was being made in to a movie I rolled my eyes.  I didn’t get in to the TV series that much but I did like the idea.  For a while I knew a lot of people going on and on about it, which just pushed me away from the series(over hyping stuff just ruins it for me).  After seeing some footage of Shyamalan’s version, I must say it looks pretty interesting.  That and the fact that it will be a trilogy, if it does well, has me piqued my interest.

Who knows, I might see it and I might not.  Either way there is no such thing as bad publicity….these arguments will only get more people in the theaters!


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