M. Night. Shyalaman shows the world, for sure that he knows and cares nothing for critical race theory, or institutionalized racism in Hollywood (and its products); and that he believes as a member of a minority he should be exempt from being called on his own actions within, and which uphold oppressive, excluding systems.
Shyalaman displays a distinct lack of knowledge on anime, the anime style and a little simple thing called cultural markers - ahem, except of course, perhaps, when it comes to his own culture.
And finally, he shows a strong bias against criticism; strong enough to make one wonder if lack of criticism is what has resulted in TLA Movie bombing as it has - at least (at this time) with cinema critics.
I personally think the movie (as described by critics and viewing audience) shows he also cares nothing about strong female characters (even those that attract his own daughter) or the struggle for respect and equality between the sexes.
I've said that before that I thought; "Katara will be pretty and emotionally strong but not a warrior, not describable as kick-ass, because Night's female characters are never kick-ass. They're enduring with quirk sprinkles."
But I've been shaking my head and shaking my head at previous interviews that I, generously it seems, thought misguided and perhaps a little ego inflated. But with this interview...
C/p snippet here (emphasis in quotes mine):
JC: I know you’ve gotten this question quite a bit, but I have to ask it because -- I’m sure other members of the press have told you this, too – I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails from the members of the Racebending group, especially in the days leading up to the release of this film. And again, they’re expressing their concerns about the lack of Asian or Asian-American actors cast in the film. What is your response to that at this point? Do you have anything further to say on that issue?
MNS: They’re misguided.
MNS: They’re aware I’m Asian, right?
JC: I would think so.
MNS: And that Dev [Patel]’s Asian, and Assif [Mandvi]’s Asian, and everybody’s, I mean – it’s incredible to think that there’s a correct Asian here. They don’t own this series. They don’t own all these cultures. The word Avatar is a Sanskrit word. So it’s all cultures that are put together. There’s no correct background here. They should ask: why does Noah Ringer look like a duplicate – a duplicate – of the cartoon guy? Why? He’s a dupe.
Anime is based on ambiguous facial features. It’s meant to be interpretive. It’s meant to be inclusive of all races, and you can see yourself in all these characters. My daughter saw herself as Kitara[sic] and now her friend who’s Hispanic sees herself as Kitara[sic], and that’s totally valid. This is a multicultural movie and I’m going to make it even more multicultural in my approach to its casting. There’s African-Americans in the movie … so it’s a source of pride for me. The irony that they would label this with anything but the greatest pride, that the movie poster has Noah and Dev on it and my name on it. I don’t know what else to do.
JC: Does it offend you that they’re defining Asian in what you perceive as a limited way when you consider yourself Asian?
MNS: I think it’s convenient for their argument. Their issue isn’t with me. Their issue is with the artists that invented anime. The story of "The Last Airbender" is an ambiguous story. These cultures are not defined. There is no Inuit woman who looks like Kitara[sic]. That’s not the reality of things. That’s not the way they’re drawn. Talk to the people who drew them. So you’re talking to the wrong person. I’m actually doing a very culturally diverse movie. In fact, I believe it’s the most culturally diverse tent pole movie ever made. And the series will be, if we’re lucky enough to make all three, without a peer -- without a peer -- one of the most culturally diverse movies ever made. It doesn’t have, like, a token person. The entire landscape will be ethnically diverse. That’s the entire point of the series.
I just can’t even believe that having achieved this – I’m the one that fought to get this movie made – having to do all of this and the opportunities I’m getting to do this in this way, and bring all these cultures to the table and all these ideas to a mass audience. 85 percent of the audience will have not seen the show. Right? Around the world. And I’m going to introduce them to all of this. Like the Uncle Iroh character is literally the wisest person in the movie and I believe Shaun Toub [the actor who plays him] is Persian. I forget where he’s from, but he’s clearly not white. On and on.
And Dev is what the movie’s about, his character, where he goes is what the movie’s about. Just that I have to defend this is -- it’s outrageous.
M. Night Shyalaman, in his own words asking why folk are being ungrateful, thinking 15 seconds equals non tokenism and also a show of diversity, alongside brown folk as the villains.
Check out a rebuttal on the Racebending Comm. There's also a link from there, to the original article.
If you want to get to the article from here, however; By clicking this link, I affirm I have taken a deep breath, and time and space to calm down. If I comment on the article at this link, I will not bring cause to have 'the tone argument' brought up and thus muddy the issue. I will not mock, patronize, insult or just plain cuss out M.Night.Shyalaman.
He already thinks people pointing out his faults and faulty actions are rabble-rousing peasantry, folk; disrespectful gutterswine. And while it's true, that gutterswine can see things other people might not; for even those who are as reasonable as can be he's steadfast in this belief that only certain types of people are being critical and does not need further reason to hold up in his bubble of fantasy.