[MA-SOC] Craptastic casting (was Re: OMG #2: Shyamalan'slive-action AVATAR: THE LASTAIRBENDER)

Joel Arandia arandia at gmail.com
Sat Jan 31 01:05:30 EST 2009

What's weird is that I just saw Slumdog Millionaire. Entirely Asian
cast. Somehow, it made 50 million dollars in 2 months and is the
favorite to with Best Picture at the Oscars.

On Sat, Jan 31, 2009 at 12:25 AM, Mandisa Washington
<mandisaw at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> I say if Robert Downey Jr can play an Australian who plays a black guy in
> Tropic Thunder, then go ahead and do what you want for Sokka.
>> I may not like it, but its Hollywood and all they care about is making
> money.  To me, I think they're doing it just to bring in all the white
> people, mostly those that have no clue what Avatar is about.
> Hmm, Robert Downey playing a parody of Russell Crowe (and of himself) in
> Tropic Thunder is totally apples-and-oranges to the de-Asianification of
> Avatar, DBZ, etc. Tropic Thunder was chock-full of scathing parodies of
> offensive things that Hollywood's done in the past (and present), and
> Robert Downey's blackface performance of a "dude playing a dude, playing
> another dude" was one of the better parodies, and off-the-hook, IMO.
> The perception of Hollywood producers is that non-white stars don't
> necessarily put enough buts in the seats (unless it's a "super black man
> saves the city/world" movie). Strangely, as American audiences have
> actually gotten better at giving the lie to this perception, international
> audiences still somewhat bear it out. Now, that might have *something* to
> do with the decades of American entertainment with varying shades/amounts
> of racism/ethnocentrism that's been promulgated throughout the world. In
> any case, as most Hollywood movie receipts come from outside the U.S.,
> that's going to be a major hurdle to overcome as far as Hollywood movies
> go. (TV shows are sold overseas in a totally different way, and more
> countries make their own TV shows than their own big-budget feature films,
> so that's another matter entirely.)
> So basically, as the casting call seems to indicate, the producers are all
> for adding ethnic "flava" to the background extras, but not so much for the
> principles. (Where is the call for Africans, Indians & Pacific Islanders,
> btw? Do they count as "Near/Far Eastern"? *shrug*) Maybe "Avatar the movie"
> will still represent Asia's Middle Kingdom, just with an obligatory and
> incongrous "super-white-boy" to save the day. I think I'm with Klara - it
> doesn't make me angry/bitter, just kind of sad.
> Mandisa
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