Dev Patel's film in race row | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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Dev Patel's film in race row

Even though Dev Patel starrer The Last Airbender, which saw an India release last month, has a huge fan following, the film is is being panned worldwide for being ‘racist’ before its London release.

hollywood Updated: Aug 07, 2010 18:52 IST

Though the controversy around the M Knight Shyamalan film has been brewing for a while, matters have come to boiling point as the date for the film’s release in UK, August 13, draws near.

Based on the cartoon series Avatar, The Last Airbender, which saw an India release last month, has a huge fan following. The movie is facing flak for using white actors as heroes and Asians as villains.

The film’s London premiere in July was disrupted by 100 protesters, who picketed the premier, calling the film The Last Racebender. Even Patel seems flummoxed by the ‘whitewashing’ of the film, as it is being called. “I didn’t have as much say as I would have liked, I couldn’t do much,” the Slumdog Millionaire actor said in a recent interview.

Ironically, the original main characters in the cartoon series are all Asian. In the Hollywood version, all three have been replaced by white actors, while Patel plays an evil prince called Zuko.



Dev patelAmerican film critic Roger Ebert criticised the film saying, "Shyamalan has failed. His mistake was the change the races of the leading characters."



"I felt sad when I heard that the main characters in the movie were going to be played by white actors. I thought it showed a message that only white people could be heroes while the TV series says the exact opposite," writes a Chinese-American blogger.