Actor Casting In M. Night Shyamalan's Upcoming New Film Raises Racist Concerns
Mon, 22 Dec 2008

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming new film is raising eyebrows. The "Sixth Sense" director has sparked concern over casting white actors to play Asian characters in "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Shyamalan has been tapped to write, direct and produce the live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon animated series, which is influenced by Asian mythology and martial arts fighting techniques. It was recently announced that the director has already chosen his casts for the film.

The problem is that the actors he chose are all white for predominantly Asian roles. Aang, the protagonist, will be played by Noah Ringer; Sokka, Aang's friend, will be played by Jackson Rathbone; and Katara, Sokka's sister, will be played by Nicola Peltz. It is also rumored that singer Jesse McCartney is in talks to play the evil Prince Zuko.

Fans of the series have reacted online about the "oversight" in Shyamalan's part.

According to's readers, the casting of white actors in an Asian culture film is a "slap in the face for those loyal to the show."

The website attempted to reach the filmmaker for comment, but wasn't able to get a response.

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is slated for a July 2010 release.

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