The Nickelodeon show "Avatar: The Last Airbender," on which this film is based, featured Asian and Inuit characters in a fantasy setting inspired and informed by a variety of Asian and Inuit cultures. The characters fight with East Asian martial arts, have Asian or Inuit features, dress in Asian or Inuit clothing, and write with Chinese characters.
“Everyone felt very strongly that we needed a white character or a part-white, part-Indian character to carry a contemporary white audience through this project,” Daniel Giat, the writer who adapted the book for HBO Films, told a group of television writers earlier this year.
The main hero is as white as they come, two of the secondary characters are sort of Eskimos, the third's probably Asian, and Prince Zuko is definitely Asian.
Er... Aang is really obviously meant to be Tibetan. (also a blindingly obvious reference to the Dalai Lama) Since when are Tibetans white?
These characters don't "look white" - they're just not being drawn in "yellowface". Our popular entertainment is so overwhelmingly white that we just equate unmarked with white.
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