posts about racism and white privilege, I wrote about how the then-upcoming film “The Last Airbender” was another example of a whitewashed version of a popular cartoon populated mostly by Asian characters. The movie release had white actors playing roles that in the cartoon were clearly Asian. Despite the cartoon being hugely popular with kids of all races, Hollywood in its infinite wisdom decided that a movie with white actors would be more palatable with the public.
Fast forward to this weekend when “The Last Airbender” was recognized as the Worst Movie of 2010 by the Razzies. It was also honored as having the worst director and the worst screenplay.
In an Associated Press article, Razzies founder John Wilson said that many people who loved the television series “The Last Airbender,” including his own 14-year-old son, hated the movie.
What I wrote back in March – “The film industry has a long history – despite the diversity of those who work within that industry – of deliberately pandering to the prejudices and bigotry of its audiences” – remains true. “The Last Airbender” wasn’t a complete flop at the box office, which means the film’s creators won’t understand why the movie is being ridiculed.
That’s too bad. Because that means we will continue to be subjected to more films that pander to the ignorance of bigotry and racism. Particularly, it seems, when it comes to American films about Buddhism or Buddhists. There have been a few decent ones. But when Hollywood churns out crap like this, it gets a bit disheartening.
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