Tuesday, March 30, 2010

M. Night Shyamalan misses the point

M. Night Shyamalan on Racial Diversity in The Last Airbender

For those of us waiting for M. Night Shyamalan to address our concerns about the discriminatory casting in The Last Airbender, this latest article on ugo.com reveals some of his thinking on the matter. Unfortunately, it seems he really doesn't understand why everyone's so upset.

One good thing is that he admits that he's heard about the protest. But to respond to our calls for people of color as heroes, he simply points to the racial indeterminacy of anime -- as if that justifies the casting of only "European"-featured heroes. He completely neglects to mention that they specifically cast for white actors, instead implying that they were really trying to populate their world with a mix of races. Which would be hard to do with the casting announcement for "Caucasian or any other ethnicity."

He also states, "Maybe they didn’t see the faces that they wanted to see but, overall, it is more than they could have expected. We’re in the tent and it looks like the U.N. in there." False. We expected to see people of color as the heroes, rather than as the background actors and the villains, so we are not getting even close to these expectations. Also, if he were true to his metaphor of the U.N., he would have sat people of color at the table next to white people, as equals.

Finally, when prodded about how "the only characters of color are baddies," he responds "It's called irony." It's hard to read this remark since it doesn't make any sense, but the most disappointing thing is that he truly doesn't seem to take this critique seriously.

Kudos to Jordan Hoffman for getting responses to these "touchy" questions (except for the conspiracy theorist comment...), and a big thumbs down to M. Night Shyamalan for failing to respond appropriately.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Working your way up in TV: An Entertainment Career Workshop

For recent college graduates and early-career individuals:

You're invited to the annual Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Diversity Committee Career Workshop on the evening of April 19th. The event will be at the TV Academy, with check-in from 6:00 - 7:30pm. Event will start at 7:30pm and proceed until 10:00pm.

Entry-level people who are aspiring to become Network & Studio Executives, Producers, Agents, Writers, Directors, Production Staff; anyone seeking entry-level positions including PAs, assistants, interns, and those trying to move up the ladder. Come in business attire and bring a pen and notepad in a leather portfolio.

Our goal is to get new folks into the system, train them and nurture them toward a successful entertainment career and build more fresh creative voices which ultimately impact society.

MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010
7:30 - 10:00 PM

Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre
5230 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

RSVP to: atascareerworkshop@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Join us online!

MANAA finally jumped on the new media/social software bandwagon (hey, it's never too late right?)...join us on Twitter and Facebook! We promise to have exciting updates on everything that we're doing. Join us and get in on the action!