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A Look Back at Racebending and the Academy Awards

A Look Back at Racebending and the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards’ gross under-recognition of performances by people of color, both in terms of nominations and wins, is pretty much universally acknowledged. Check this thorough list from Your Media Has Problems on tumblr if you had any doubts. One of the interesting dimensions covered in that piece is that the majority of people of color nominated for Oscars played roles that “had...
Star Trek: Into Whiteness

Star Trek: Into Whiteness

If there’s one thing that most fans of Star Trek will agree on, it’s the fact that Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the show — and, more optimistically, for human society — was predicated on the idea that all life is valuable, and that the worth of a person should not be judged by their appearance. Much of this was done through the old sci-fi trope of using aliens to stand in for op...
“The Crow” Reboot Should Extend Opportunities

“The Crow” Reboot Should Extend Opportunities

Relativity Media is remaking the cult classic film The Crow (1994). Although this iconic story is being brought back to the silver screen, the breakthrough progress made by The Crow in terms of minority representation will not be brought back. Brandon Lee plays The Crow in the 1994 film. As part of development for the film, the studio appears to be throwing upcoming (affordable) young white male...
“Olympus Has Fallen”  and racial nativism

“Olympus Has Fallen” and racial nativism

Today is the release date of Olympus Has Fallen, an action movie that unfortunately reflects the Hollywood (and American) stereotype of white nativism: the assumption that American automatically means white. “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” – Toni Morrison Synopsis of the movie: Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Bu...
Interview with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan, YA Authors

Interview with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan, YA Authors

Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan are two well-known, published authors in the young adult genre and proof that dedicated white fantasy authors can include characters of color in their works. Holly Black has written non-white and non-straight characters in her books since her first novel, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale . Two of her popular book series feature biracial lead protagonists, the Modern...
British East Asian actors speak out against “The Orphan of Zhao”

British East Asian actors speak out against “The Orphan of Zhao”

Britain’s esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company is producing the 13th century Chinese play, “The Orphan of Zhao,” with no British East Asain actors in principal roles. In fact, two of the three East Asian actors play a maid and a dog puppeteer, respectively. As a result, actors of Asian descent in the UK and around the world have spoken out and asked RSC to do better. Racebendin...
The Last Airbender – A Timeline of the Protest

The Last Airbender – A Timeline of the Protest

2002 to mid-2008: Origin of the Animated Series August 2008: Casting Heroes: “Caucasian or Any Other Ethnicity” December 2008: The Protest Gets Organized January 2009: Extras and Villains Wanted, Seeking Actors of Color February 2009: Advocacy Groups Become Involved Summer 2009: Former A:TLA staff members speak out! Fall 2009: Paramount’s film The Goods Outrages the Asian Americ...
The Problem With Colorblindness

The Problem With Colorblindness

essay by guest contributor Faith Bell Colorblindness. I have been hearing this term more and more. It sounds nice, but it does more harm than good. After centuries of giving value to the color of a person’s skin, attempting to push race aside now also pushes aside the struggles that many people have gone through because of the value placed on their skin. Colorblindness is passive. It hel...
The Last Airbender Movie Trailer: Super Bowl Ad First Look

The Last Airbender Movie Trailer: Super Bowl Ad First Look

UGO has released the first look at The Last Airbender movie’s Super Bowl ad. The Super Bowl spot reminds us of what the movie could have meant. A large budget film portraying heroes of color in a positive light. Instead, it shows the continuing Hollywood tradition of whitewashing – which is itself a direct descendant of practices of blackface and yellowface. The bottom-line is that...
From Fans to Activists: Loraine Sammy and Racebending.com

From Fans to Activists: Loraine Sammy and Racebending.com

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. This blog highlights some research he has done with Anna Van Someren and Sangita Shresthova on fan activism and participatory culture. Lori Kido Lopez, Vice President of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans and doctoral student on this research team...
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