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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...
Yellowface and the Adult Film Industry’s Asian American Problem

Yellowface and the Adult Film Industry’s Asian American Problem

What happens when a prominent adult film producer creates a homage to one of the few television shows with an Asian American character–and decides to depict that character in blatant yellowface? Guest blogger N’jaila Rhee takes on the subject of yellowface in the adult film industry. [Age Content/NSFW Disclaimer: While the following article contains no images with nudity, it does...
Messages Across the Ages:  Thoughts on “Cloud Atlas”

Messages Across the Ages: Thoughts on “Cloud Atlas”

I can’t deny that I love the Wachowski Siblings. When I was a kid, I used to play The Matrix over and over again; as a teenager, I would reference the series as one of my favorite movie series. The Matrix was a groundbreaking film with its special effects and is hailed as one of the best science fiction films of all time. I especially enjoyed Speed Racer, in its neon-colored, campy glory–a...
Jim Sturgess is a Tool

Jim Sturgess is a Tool

Image: Verified twitter post from actor Jim Sturgess, who is white and appears in yellowface in the upcoming film Cloud Atlas. Sturgess writes: “Yellowface? Blackface? Pinkface? Pinkberry? Blackberry? Crackberry? Blueberry? Strawberry? Bananas? Frozen Yogurt? All the toppings?.Lovely! After Phil Yu posted this, I spent a couple hours stewing in a pit of rage. I’m still angry. And I...
The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice, and Artistic License

The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice, and Artistic License

The shock of watching the Cloud Atlas trailer, and witnessing white actors portray Asian characters, is that there is no shock. Because it is absolutely nothing new. It was part of the tradition of American entertainment long before Luise Rainer won the Oscar for The Good Earth in 1937. It was a torch passed on through the decades, from Charlie Chan to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Unlike b...
Academy Awards 2012:  Putting Blackface in Context

Academy Awards 2012: Putting Blackface in Context

The New York Times reports that at the 2012 Academy Awards, someone made a racial joke that was “in questionable taste.” That would be comedian and presenter Chris Rock, who cracked a joke about roles available to black men in animation: “I love animation because in the world of animation, you can be anything you want to be. If you’re a fat woman you can play a skinny prin...
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 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...
Shirt Sale – Protest The Last Airbender in Style

Shirt Sale – Protest The Last Airbender in Style

Want to protest The Last Airbender film in style? You’re in luck – Racebending.com is launching a brand new line of Carolina-blue street team shirts. U.S. manufactured, union-made, sweatshop-free! The new shirts are on-sale at BlackLava.net. Today, January 27th ONLY, our shirt is available for just $15 – no tax, no shipping! The sale is OVER but the shirts are still available...
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