ByJessica Lorenne, writer at
Otaku, and nerd. Jessica is a lover of fantasy, great stories, anime, and cosplay.

I've got a bone to pick with you, Hollywood.

Why you keep casting ethnic roles with white people?

Don't get me wrong. I'm a proud white girl, white as the white can come. I think we're a pretty cool group. There's something to be proud of in every culture. But come on!

Tiger Lily was a Native American. What are you doing Warner?

I'm super excited about this movie, you guys. I'm just a little bit frustrated.

How many times has Hollywood cast a white person in an ethnic role, and gotten away with it?

Ok! So Prince of Persia was a good movie, even though no one cast in that film was Persian. He's American, and she's English (though props to the makeup artist. Gemma almost got away with it, save for her accent).

But let's be

Ok! So I had no idea the King of Siam was Russian. But come on! Shave an olive skinned man's head, put him in a costume, and who wouldn't look like one? But really, I think it was those eyebrows.

Moving on to our case study...

There was not one Airbender fan who was happy about the culture change in this film. It caused a boycot, and it failed. FAILED HOLLYWOOD.


Of course, there were other variables. Airbender really should have been a series of movies (3 movies for each book to get all the good stuff in there = 9 in total).

But taking the Asian inspired series, and messing with it, didn't help.

My point? Don't change what works in the original! Fans loved the animated series so much, that when it came time to make a live-action version, they were expecting it to be like the series. So when new ethnicities were assigned to each nation, there was an uproar.

The authenticity of the cartoon was lost, and the nostalgia of what had been created, and succeed, obliterated. What was in the animation was what was real, so when Hollywood took it, and decided to mess with it, it ruined the feel of the story, and lost its authenticity.

Authenticity is real, you guys. The most outrageous stories could be told, but if they're done right, and carry a sense of realness, they will always win.

Airbender lost that when it took away what was authentic in the cartoon, its culture.

(This is also an issue when you are making a movie based off a real person's life. You better be accurate in your portrayal of a REAL LIFE LIVING BREATHING HUMAN BEING. )

Like this one. So good. Edith Piaf was French, and so was Marion Cotillard. But there was no way the French were going to let anyone but a French lady play their beautiful song-bird. And they were right! It worked!

So what does this mean for Pan?

I don't know. I hope there's a pretty good excuse for making Tiger Lily a white girl. She looks more like a lost girl. And with people so familiar with the cartoon version Disney created, there may be an issue with what is familiar, versus what's been done. Not to mention the fact that the original creator of Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie, made it pretty clear we were dealing with a Native American in her case.

Hollywood, stop taking ethnic choices that have proven to work, and white-washing them!

Really. If main-stream movies included more ethnicities in the roles in which they belonged, there may be less of a racial issue going on. Media has a huge influence in the way people think. Perhaps if we saw a little more color on the big screen, we'd be happier to see it in our own neighborhood.


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