Protests are popping up all over the internet due to M. Night Shyamalan’s casting of the live action version of AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. AWN reports that fans are concerned that Paramount and Nickelodeon are “whitewashing” the film, casting all white actors in a conspicuously Asian world. On the blog CARTOON BREW, the comic artist Derek Kirk Kim wrote,
“…Imagine if someone had made a “fantasy” movie in which the entire world was built around African culture. Everyone is wearing ancient African clothes, African hats, eating traditional African food, writing in an African language, living in African homes, all encompassed in an African landscape…but everyone is white. How offensive, insulting, and disrespectful would that be toward Africans and African Americans? How much more offensive would it be if only the heroes were white and all the villians [sic] and background characters were African American? (I wince in fear thinking about THE LAST AIRBENDER suffering from the latter dynamic — which it probably will.)”
Currently M. Night Shyamalan has offered the leading roles to Noah Ringer, Jackson Rathbone, Nicola Peltz, and Jessee McCartney.