From March 2009 to July 2010, Racebending.com coordinated the protest against The Last Airbender (2010), a film that discriminated against actors of color and reinforced glass ceilings by casting white actors to play Asian and Inuit characters.
We mobilized fans of the original animated series–and members of the greater community–to write letters to the production and alert journalists and film critics to the situation. As a result, at least 25 film critics from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia mentioned the controversy in their reviews, including Roger Ebert.
Between April 2010 and July 2010, Racebending.com exchanged correspondence with Paramount Pictures President Adam Goodman to discuss public concerns about the film. Racebending.com also organized a live protest of the movie with Asian American community organizations, including the Korean Resource Center and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans. Over 100 people protested the movie in front of a Hollywood movie theatre on July 1st, 2010.
The protest movement and casting controversy were covered by over 75 newspapers and media outlets, including the Associated Press, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Fox 11 News, National Public Radio, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as international press including BBC, CBC Canada, Daily Telegraph and in Chinese language press.
Archive of Articles on “The Last Airbender”
- Gene Yang on The Shadow Warrior, Diverse Books and Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift May 7, 2014
- Update on Avatar: The Legend of Korra March 7, 2011
- The Last Airbender – A Timeline of the Protest February 18, 2011
- Noah Ringer: American Indian November 11, 2010
- Depictions of Gender and Ethnicity in The Last Airbender September 30, 2010
- Journalists and Critics Tackle the Casting Controversy in ‘The Last Airbender’ August 12, 2010
- Racebending.com takes to the streets, protesting The Last Airbender in front of theaters! July 25, 2010
- Racebending.com Corresponds Directly with Paramount Pictures President July 11, 2010
- Actor Dante Basco speaks out regarding the casting of The Last Airbender July 5, 2010
- Racebending.com Supporters Out to Protest: LA and Seattle June 30, 2010
- The Last Airbender Film: Changes from the Cartoon Series June 30, 2010
- Racebending.com Staffers meet Avatar: The Last Airbender Creators at book signing! June 27, 2010
- Racebending.com Supporters: Why We Oppose the Casting of The Last Airbender June 15, 2010
- The Problem With Colorblindness June 12, 2010
- Ebert takes on another Airbender question June 10, 2010
- Paramount Pictures – Diversity in the 21st Century? May 22, 2010
- Racebending.com’s Report from WonderCon 2010 May 6, 2010
- Demographics of Racebending.com Supporters April 30, 2010
- The Old Masters: The Legacy of Mako Iwamatsu April 27, 2010
- Zuko is Evil? – The Marketing of Prince Zuko in "The Last Airbender" April 15, 2010
- Shyamalan interviews: racebending.com responds March 31, 2010
- Facebook Restores Racebending.com Group March 17, 2010
- Heavy Competition for Racebending.com Facebook Ban March 15, 2010
- Racebending Facebook Group Taken Down March 15, 2010
- New ‘The Last Airbender’ Trailer Raises Questions February 26, 2010