Tuesday, August 18, 2020

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Fans Start Petition After Creators Depart Live-Action Series

Avatar: The Last Airbender fans start a petition after the Nickelodeon show's original creators leave the upcoming live-action Netflix adaptation.

Avatar: The Last Airbender fans have launched a petition addressed to Netflix following the exit of the show's original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The Nickelodeon series follows Aang, the Avatar, as well as his friends Sokka, Katara, and Toph. It's widely believed to be one of the best animated shows of all time, though it ran for only three seasons, from 2005-2008. Its success inspired both a live-action film and a spinoff show, The Legend of Korra. However, a live-action TV show had never been attempted, at least until Netflix put one into development in 2018.

Many were particularly excited about the involvement of DiMartino and Konietzko, who were going to executive produce and run the series. However, last week, the two announced their departure from the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show. Both explained their vision for the series wasn't supported by Netflix, with Konietzko even calling it "a negative and unsupportive environment." This has some understandably concerned about what was once an incredibly exciting project.

With this in mind, many fans have signed a Change.org petition titled "Demand Cultural Representation & Age Appropriation in Netflix's ATLA-Live Action Series." The details section of the petition explains those who sign are concerned about white actors being cast as Asian and Inuit characters. It also points out problems with the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series, including "the subtle insensitivity toward certain subjects (Lake Laogai, Tibetan genocide) and promotion of harmful stereotypes (Arab/Muslim barbarians, etc)," explaining the creators' exits could compound these issues. Additionally, the petition calls for the characters to remain the same age they are in the original series, with the actors cast reflecting that.

As of this writing, the petition has over 16,000 signatures, so it's clear some agree with the demands listed. It echoes concerns many had about the Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation, even before DiMartino and Konietzko's left the project. It's a very important show to get right, particularly with casting, as the petition notes. Though the series is by no means dead in the water, it's clear from this petition and general online reaction that Netflix will need to work hard to earn back some good will regarding the series.

Hopefully, the streamer will take its time and listen to fan concerns. Of course, it's impossible to please everyone when making a TV show, but the petition brings up many valid points. At this time, it's hard to know where the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation stands. Hopefully, the next bit of information that comes out about the series addresses some of the concerns raised in this petition.

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More Nick: Nickelodeon Streams Unaired 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Pilot on Twitch!

Original source: ScreenRant.
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