Some people are getting angry at M. Night Shyamalan, who made “The Sixth Sense” which is an awesome movie. Why are they mad, you ask? Because he’s casting all White people in his next movie, The Last Airbender, which is a popular animated show where the characters are mostly Asian. They think he’s racist. I think they’re overreacting, so I’m writing a letter to M. Night Shyamalan to lend him support:
Dear Mr. Shyamalan, you made one of my favorite movies of all time. Even now, I am still moved by “The Sixth Sense” and its powerful message of what it means to be alive and to be connected by love and to see dead people. Even with exponential rate of diminishing returns on the quality of your movies since then, I am still excited that you are directing the live-action adaptation of one of my favorite animated shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender, a masterpiece of complex characters, intricate plots, and clever humor and dialog. I know that some people are angry that you are casting all White actors for your main characters, who are supposed to be pretty much Asian. The scathing stuff that racebending.com has been saying is inexcusable! I understand exactly why you’re doing this. I mean, there has never been a movie with a teenage Asian lead that made money.
Casting a White actor to play Aang makes sense. Just look at the success of Dragonball Z: Evolution! As your perceptive actor, Jackson Rathbone, who will be playing the character Sokka, said, “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan.” That’s right! All it takes is a funny haircut and a tan to make someone look Asian, and if that helps your mojo at the Box Office, I say you made the right call. So instead of giving you flak like other overreacting Asians—who really should be studying math and making won-tons anyway and leave the movie acting to real actors—I am praising your keen business sense. In fact, I’m sending you some ideas of other projects that I think would be really great for you to tackle:
A Shot of Hope: The Tila Tequila Story. Katy Perry, who kissed a girl and liketid it, would be a great actress to play bisexual Tila Nguyen. In this moving biography, we trace Tequila’s journey from drugs and gangs, to ultimate success as a reality TV star and Myspace celebrity.
Harold and Kumar go to Space: Hilarity ensues each second in this cult classic franchise about two stoners, Harold and Kumar, who are Chinese American and Indian American. In this third adventure, the boys go to NASA, investigating rumors that superior weed is being grown to calm astronauts. Somehow they get trapped in a shuttle and shot into orbit. Along the way they encounter alien babes, ewoks, and Disney’s frozen head. Luke and Owen Wilson would make awesome replacements for Kal Penn and John Cho. The alien babes should be played by Asian actresses, because White Guy Asian Girl (WGAG) couples test well in focus groups.
Heroes Origins: Hiro. Based on once-popular TV series Heroes, the movie follows the rise of one of the beloved-but-increasingly-annoying characters, Hiro, whose catch phrase, “Yatta!” is Japanese for “Stop comparing us to X-Men!” With your clout, I’m sure you can convince Matt Damon or Ben Affleck to replace Masi Oka in the role of Hiro.
Up 2: Russell’s Revenge. Live-action sequel to Disney-Pixar’s successful animated film about an old man who used thousands of balloons to float his house to Venezuela, picking up Russell, an adorable, sweet-natured Asian boy along the way. 10 years have gone by, and Carl has already passed. Nothing now holds Russell back from exacting revenge on his deadbeat father, whose absence all these years has been magnified by Russell’s Asian heritage. He masters several martial arts and with his faithful attack dog, Doug, by his side, hunts down the man who has wronged him. One of the interchangeable Jonas brothers would make a great adult Russell.
With your knack for clever twists, I am sure you can take any of these ideas and add some unexpected endings.
I am looking forward to seeing The Last Airbender, no matter what people say about the racist and misguided casting. I saw the trailer during the Superbowl and nearly wet my pants with excitement. Let me tell you, this movie looks sick! I can’t wait to not boycott it! Until then, I’ll be at my parents’ home, doing calculus and eating noodles.
Your friend, Huy