Tag Archives: Asian Americans

The whitewashing continues in Hollywood

As usual liberal Hollywood is at it again. Last year I blogged about how they whitewashed the film 21. This film was based on a true story in which Asian Americans were the real life leading characters but liberal Hollywood decided to cast white actors in the leading roles instead.  Well this time it’s happening to a film that’s directed by an Indian American.  According to this article there’s a new film coming out titled The Last Airbender which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan.  This film is the live action adaptation of Avatar:  The Last Airbender.

the_last_airbender

Columnist Kim Voynar gives a  quick rundown of the story from her column, Yellow-facing and White-washing:  The Racial Issues Raised by the Casting of The Last Airbender:

Avatar: The Last Airbender, the television series, is heavily Asian-themed. For those who aren’t into Avatar, here’s a quick rundown of the basic story: In the Avatar world, civilization is divided into four separate groups: Earth, Water, Air and Fire, with each nation’s social structure built around its dominant element. Each nation has “benders” who can manipulate their tribe element martial-arts style, and then there is one Avatar each generation who has the ability to bend all four elements, but who has to learn to bend the elements that are not his by birthright (with the element opposite the Avatar’s birthright being the most challenging to learn). There are a lot of Eastern spiritual elements (particulary Hindu) interwoven into the story, including the ability of the Avatar to call on the knowledge of all past Avatars, which resides within him, the opening of chakras, and concepts around reincarnation (really, come to think of it, I’m surprised the religious right hasn’t been all over this show for its “non-Christian” elements).

Despite the fact that this story is heavily Asian themed liberal Hollywood has decided to cast the four leading characters with white actors. The fourth actor has dropped out and replaced by Indian actor Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire.  The four original white actors weren’t exactly household names so the casting folks and producers can’t give the lame excuse of they have to hire well  known white actors to open a film.  Some Asian Americans and hard core Avatar fans are fuming over the casting of this film and I don’t blame them.  You mean to tell me liberal Hollywood can’t find an Asian American actor or actress anywhere to cast for the leading roles in this film?

The columnist also mentions this:

I was talking all this over with an Asian-American friend the other day who posited that perhaps Hollywood doesn’t take the concerns Asian-Americans raise about the white-washing of Asian roles seriously because Asians are stereotypically perceived by many white Americans as being submissive, polite and complacent (“Oh sure, they’ll complain on their blogs about it, but no one reads them anyhow except other Asian-Americans … they’ll get over if we toss Bai Ling in there somewhere … have the screenwriter add an evil, sex-crazed hooker into the story.”). She might have a point.

Maybe it’s about time Asian Americans started speaking up.

Hollywood’s a tough business with an eagle eye on the box office bottom line, and the attitude toward race in casting decisions isn’t likely to change until Asian-Americans band together to show Hollywood shirts the financial impact their united weight can bear by boycotting films they feel white-wash Asian parts, and supporting those that do cast Asian actors in lead roles.

It’s 2009, folks. We have an African-American man in the highest elected office of our country. Can’t we have an adaptation of an Asian-themed series with actual Asian actors playing the lead roles?

You can also check out It’s not a post-racial Hollywood at Daily Herald.com which also talks about this film’s casting.

Betty Brown’s message to Asian Americans

Texas Rep. Betty Brown has a message for Asian Americans:  Please Americanize your names.  Miss Betty, a Republican representative from Terrell, Texas, told a Chinese American lawyer, Ramey Ko, that Asian Americans should pick new names so it would be easier for Americans to deal with.

betty_brown

Lawmaker defends comment on Asians
Call for voters to simplify their names not racially motivated, Terrell Republican says

By R.G. RATCLIFFE

AUSTIN — A North Texas legislator during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments caused the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday to demand an apology from state Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell. But a spokesman for Brown said her comments were only an attempt to overcome problems with identifying Asian names for voting purposes.

The exchange occurred late Tuesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony from Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Ko told the committee that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations.

Easier for voting?

Brown suggested that Asian-Americans should find a way to make their names more accessible.

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

Brown later told Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Democratic Chairman Boyd Richie said Republicans are trying to suppress votes with a partisan identification bill and said Brown “is adding insult to injury with her disrespectful comments.”

Brown spokesman Jordan Berry said Brown was not making a racially motivated comment but was trying to resolve an identification problem.

Berry said Democrats are trying to blow Brown’s comments out of proportion because polls show most voters support requiring identification for voting. Berry said the Democrats are using racial rhetoric to inflame partisan feelings against the bill.

“They want this to just be about race,” Berry said.

Miss Betty needs to get a clue. There are plenty of good ole Americans of European descent who have names that aren’t easy to pronounce.

Has she heard of these names:

Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski
Mike Krzyzewski
Rod Blagojevich

Has she complained about their names?  Not everyone in the United States have last names like Brown, Lewis, Green, Bush, Rove, White, Gray, Washington, Perry, etc.

A couple of days after her ignorant comment Miss Betty apologized.

Texas legislator apologizes for remarks

AUSTIN, Texas — The state lawmaker embroiled in a controversy over pending voter identification legislation has apologized for her remarks regarding Asian-descent voters’ names.

Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell, said that she “apologizes for her remark in the Elections Committee on Tuesday, April 7,” in a statement issued late Thursday.

She said she appreciates testimony that made legislators aware of problems faced by Asian-Americans when acquiring identification and that she understands the “diversity of Texas” and the “enrichment” that Asian-Americans have brought to the state.

The Texas Democratic party and others called on Brown to apologize after she said voters of Asian descent should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

The comments were part of an exchange with Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans, during a hearing Tuesday by the House Elections Committee.

If you have one of those names that Miss Betty just can’t deal with try the Betty Brown Name Generator.

Even though I was born in the good ole USA and my family has been here for the past few centuries, here’s my brand new American name:

My Betty Brown Approved Name is

LaVerne “Americana” Brown.
Take Betty Brown Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey‘s Name Generator Generator.

Hat tip to Angry Asian Man.

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