Whitewashing in THE LAST AIRBENDER and PRINCE OF PERSIA
Critics are crying foul over what they call “whitewashing” in the casting for upcoming movies “The Last Airbender” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time“. Fans of the TV series and video game, respectively, that inspired the feature films have accused Hollywood of “whitewashing” the movies by casting white actors in the leading roles despite the position calling for a person of color.
M. Night Shyamalan is directing “The Last Airbender”, an adaptation of a Nickelodeon animated series, for Paramount Pictures. The story in “Airbender” is built around Asian and Native American culture, yet three of the four principle roles have been filled with white actors.
The film “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a big screen adaptation of a popular video game series that is widely popular, particularly among Muslim gamers for its positive portrayal of Middle Eastern culture and characters. The film however has drawn fire, like “Airbender”, for “whitewashing” the main roles in the film. Despite the story taking place in Persia, none of the main roles were given to actors of Iranian, Muslim, or Middle Eastern decent. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role while British actress Gemma Arterton is cast as the lead female.
What do you think of this topic? Is there whitewashing going on or is it simply the way you do business in the movie industry? Share your comments below.