July 1, 2010

Reviews are pouring in on the Avatar the Last Airbender movie, and pretty much panning it all around.

Some might call it a victory.

But really, it’s not. Victory is when Hollywood starts casting equitably and not with white supremacy in mind. Victory is when folks can start getting a proportionate amount of roles- lead and supporting. Victory is when we can see a proportionate amount of characters- heroes, villains, victims, clowns, normal folks – not just stereotypes or “expected roles”.

Victory is when we get to see ourselves painted in the full range of emotions, expressions and personalities that Hollywood gives white folks.

Victory is when our stories can at least reflect us, when we don’t have to have a half white actor to play a full person of color, because if color doesn’t matter, why is it always light-skinned/mixed actors getting the roles?

Victory is not just for the movies, but books, tv, comics, videogames, rpgs, and all forms of media.

It’s never been about this -specific instance- of cross race casting- it’s always been about the long history of whitewashing, of leaving people out of actual roles they could fit in, of never allowing non-white mainstream heroes, beyond, Will Smith.

The problem was not how -many- actors of color you put on screen, the problem is how many heroes of color you removed FROM the screen.

The movie failing had nothing to do with it’s racism, at the same time, this has proved movies don’t succeed on racism either.

Let’s stop making media for white supremacists, it’s not only unworthy of civilized people, it’s also not profitable.

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