In his most recent Q&A session of his Chicago Sun Times movie column, Roger Ebert had this to say in regards to the casting choices of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender”.
Q. Regarding the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan vehicle, “The Last Airbender”, what do you think about the “white-washing” of the production so that all of the original Asian cultural landmarks, architecture, philosophy, and costume design are being retained while they cast white kids to play the main characters?
A. Wrong. The original series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was highly regarded and popular for three seasons on Nickelodeon. Its fans take it for granted that its heroes are Asian. Why would Paramount and Shyamalan go out of their way to offend these fans? There are many young Asian actors capable of playing the parts.