I can’t believe so many people read the Last Airbender Boycott blog!

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I just want thank everyone who read my last blog entry. When I wrote it, I had no idea this many people would see it. There’s a good amount of people that follow me, but the entry about “The Last Airbender” really caught fire and spread beyond my blog. I was at an event last weekend and got into a conversation with a few people who happen to have read it. Its somewhat surreal in the sense, I’ve never really been a political person, yet that last blog was a pretty big political statement, in the realm of “Hollywood” anyway. In truth, I’ve always been an actor who wants to do what I do best… and that’s work, by acting in meaningful parts.

I’ve always thought of myself as an actor first and only realized myself as an “ethnic” actor as I’ve grown up in the industry and experienced the lack of parts I was being able to play. My goal is always to work, but if I can in someway help widen the eye of “Hollywood” film making to include the stories and faces of everyone and not be so focused on one group or another’s perspective… I’m down for that.

Thank you again for all the fan’s who wanted to see me in the film, Prince Zuko will always be a special character to me and I’m sure Dev did a great job to help bring him to life. For all those who commented on the blog and continue to, thank you… Whether we agreed or not, I think this dialogue needs to happen, the more this comes up, the more the chance actual change can happen.

  1. Asuka Nosaka says:

    Thank you for having the courage and strength to talk about this very touchy topic. I believe that your words have such meaning and adds to this issue immensely. I hope people will be open for more discussions with you and all those who have something to say about this issue we are facing, but I just wanted to let you know that when I read your blog about the Last Airbender, it really motivated me even more to continue with what I believed was right. I believe we do need to share our opinions about issues like these or nothing is going to change.

    Thank you for contributing to this change!


  2. MRCAB says:

    There were so many people eagerly waiting to hear what you REALLY had to say about the film’s casting, or the subject matter in general. It was a viral slingshot ready to shoot and all it needed was you. Thanks dude!

  3. Marissa Lee says:

    Heh, without even realizing it, Dante Basco continues to break down systemic barriers in Hollywood. Big props, and thanks for daring to continue the conversation!

  4. Omoni says:

    Ah, but Dante; we really like to read what you say, and the fact that you were brave enough to speak up about this was really great.

    Plus, you know, you’re awesome. So, yeah. Thank YOU for sharing your thoughts with us =3

  5. Lauren says:

    Thank you for speaking out, Dante!

  6. Mark C. says:

    Thank you for speaking out about it and for always being good with your fans – it’s no wonder your words traveled so far, as they’re full of truth. You rock, man!

  7. CaitieCat says:

    Can’t wait to hear about your next project – thanks for being brave enough to talk about it all.

  8. Jax says:

    Dude, I am doubly glad for your post. I didn’t know you had a blog until your post was linked. I’ve been a fan of yours since “Hook,” and I freely admit my childhood crush on you remains. ❤ Even more so now that you've spoken up about the issues on "The Last Airbender." Everyone I know was dying for you to do Zuko.

    I am so glad you said something. I was heartbroken when they whitewashed the casting of "The Last Airbender." It was an insult to the East Asian and Inuit peoples and cultures who inspired that awesome animated series you were part of. I will spend plenty of money (and already have, since I bought all the DVDs) on the animated series of "Avatar: The Last Airbender"–which is one of my favorite shows ever–but none on "The Last Airbender" film. I will boycott it, without a doubt, and I have encouraged all my friends to do the same. My opinion is that the film is a travesty on all levels, and its racefail is as epic as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or "Charlie Chan." All it does is make me want to watch the animated series that you and everyone else help bring to life in such a wonderful way.

  9. Rhea Ewing says:

    Thanks so much for speaking out about this! It is a very sensitive issue and there has been a lot of glossing-over or outright denial- about the whitewashing thing. It is good to see someone so close to the project talk about the issue.


  10. Todd Enrico says:

    Hollywood has to look within itself to save itself from its other self.
    Only then, will its true self reveal itself.

  11. monique/uncreativity/silvercell says:

    Dante Basco, you are amazing!

    Todd Enrico, that totally sounded like something Iroh would say.lol

  12. Brittany says:

    When I read your blog, it made me realize that this conversation we have been having around The Last Airbender movie since 2008 has not been frivolous. Because of Racebending.com and your words, I believe more now more than ever we are closer to making change in Hollywood, even if it’s just awareness. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about the issue. I can’t stress that enough. It really means a lot coming from you.

  13. Jax says:

    I realized I have a big mouth and talk far too much, so I apologize for that. I did just want to say thank you for posting, and I’m glad I found your blog, since I am a fan (and I tend to forget actors keep blogs). I think it took a lot of bravery to publicly make your opinion known. And it made me feel better about how vocal I’ve been about my own opinion, though I know people grow weary of me. >.>

  14. Lurial says:


  15. Joe says:

    I was so stoked when M. Night Shyamalan was brought on to direct the feature, but like Dante, my wife and I will probably end up seeing it “some day,” most likely when it comes out for rental. Dev Patel is a great actor and all, but Dante Basco set the gold standard for Prince Zuko. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue! ^_^

  16. Indigodecking@gmail.com says:

    I’ve been a fan of yours since first seeing you in Hook.

    “Rufio! Rufio! RU! FI! OH-OH!”

    I watched Take The Lead specifically because I saw your name in the credits.

    I probably would have skipped American Dragon Jake Long (for some of its racebendy problems) if not for seeing your name in the credits.

    I was very thrilled to see you as Prince Zuko in ATLA.

    So I’m glad that your love of your craft, the love of your role, and your sense of right caused you to speak up about Hollywood. And I’m glad you got to see that speaking your mind showed you that you are supported.

    I look forward to seeing you in your next project (Hopefully another ATLA project. We never did find out what happened to Zuko’s mother!)

  17. TTan says:

    You’ve got my (and the rest of the Bay API community) support for all your roles!

  18. Todd Enrico says:

    Monique: It was a line of Zuko’s in ‘The Western Air Temple’ episode, where he’s imitating Iroh in order to find guidance. =P

  19. Todd Enrico says:

    Er, not the exact line, but a paraphrase, I should say.

  20. Shanobi says:

    Thank you for putting your input on this……I hate to say it but that movie was a bad joke I had high hopes for this movie ……. Yea there go my dreams and hopes .
    But really thank you , I just wish more of your co-worker wound tell us how they feel about this movie as well.

  21. oliverrrrr says:

    Conversations about ethnicity & race still happens because it affects people to this day. Everyone should be talking about the effects racism still has, especially those of influence (like you Dante!). Thanks for speaking out, and I hope that you can continue to bring the conversation to the table.

  22. CakesAndPoo says:

    Dante, You’re the same age as me and I enjoyed you in Hook, and now, so have my 3 growing children. We watch Avatar on Netflix at least once every 4 months because of the story, and always love the confrontation between Zuko and his Father at the end of Book 2. Maybe your confrontation with Hollywood and working in the Industry will fare better after these conversations are made more vocal. Good luck to you as an actor, and as an individual.

  23. AliJ says:

    honestly, I agree. I mean, I understand where people are comming from-but who’s to say the ones chosen just weren’t the best?

  24. Caterfree10 says:

    It’s always a wonderful thing to hear people speak out against Hollywood’s ingrained prejudices and more so from those who have directly been affected by it. Seeing Shyamalan run his mouth (likely influenced by execs higher up the Hollywood food chain, I’d wager) is taxing, but your words help so very much. ❤

  25. Charamy says:

    Thank you for having the courage to speak out about something so important! We’re all here to support you and hopefully we’ve contributed to media awareness of such blatant racism. I’ve been trying to do my part and inform others– even if they have already unfortunately seen the movie, but they agreed as well.

    As a fellow Filipino, I think it’s definitely time for some more change and hopefully to get more actors of other ethnicities. You have definitely been paving the way!

    (And just to add, as I’m sure a lot of people may have already said, were there ever a chance for a reboot, I’d definitely hope you’d play Zuko).

  26. Voughn says:

    Thanks Dante. I think for you to come out and say what so many people are too afraid to say, shows what kind of person you are. 🙂

  27. Jhenne Tyler says:

    Dante, I can’t thank you enough for having the courage to speak up on issues that seem to be ignored, avoided, denied or outright trivialized by mainstream Hollywood. It’s always awesome to see someone so close to the issue at hand continue the conversation! Your words mean a lot; having the support is both heartening and inspiring.

    Kudos for sharing your thoughts and adding some squeak to the wheel that needs oiling. Here’s to you doing what you love, and helping open the door for others along the way! ❤

    Big fan,
    ~ JT

  28. Donna F says:

    Like a couple of other commenters, I didn’t even know you had a blog until I followed a link (from over at Angry Asian Man). I’m glad I found it, though, because your blog is great! Unlike a lot of other entertainers, you write entertainingly and well. In particular your post on the TLA boycott deserves a wider audience because you address the issue with class and dignity. Heaven knows the U.S. needs more of that in our dialogues about race.
    More a fan than ever, sir. Hope we see and/or hear more of you soon!

  29. Toast says:

    I got linked here from the racebending website. I was curious to hear what the creators of the show and actors thought about the whitewashing issue, as well as the movie in general.

    My boyfriend and I did go see the movie and it was atrocious. Race issues aside it does not do the show justice at all. But it’s good that people are speaking up about it, it shouldn’t have been that hard for M. Night to find asian/native american actors to portray the main characters.

    Also, Hook is my favourite movie of all time and Zuko is one of my favourite characters so I’m kind of excited to have found your blog 🙂

  30. JT Waite says:

    I took my two kids to see the movie after having seen every episode many times. Every time a new character came on screen and had no obvious Asian traits, I could feel my face turning red with a mixture of anger and frustration. I’m white, so the red shows through pretty clearly, and yes, I’m white and feel the same way Asians feel about the ignorant casting of this film. Even with past casting offenses well documented, I am still in complete disbelief how this could happen on such a grand scale for one film. Usually, it’s one or two — sometimes more — characters that are miscast and it causes this kind of reaction, but this is practically the entire cast. I have nothing against people from any nation, but it seems like every character was played by an actor/actress from the US or India. I actually feel sorry for the cast, because I know they probably felt proud of the product before the backlash started. I feel sorry for the kid who played Ang. It was a great first performance — don’t blame him for the lines in the script.

    Dante, your voice was one of the biggest keys to the success of this series. The words spoken by Zuko were always powerful in emotion, whether it was a one-liner or a long speech.

    This film was very discouraging, but I’m very encouraged to see that people are showing how much they care about this issue.

  31. Adhana says:

    Thank you so much Dante for being such a great actor and for being brave enough to speak out -you’re a true class act!

  32. Shin says:

    I wanted to see you do the role. I gotta admit, you’re one of my favourite talents out there, being a Filipino myself.

    But getting back on topic.

    Ethnic actors have always had it tough in Hollywood. There was a documentary I saw a few days ago called Tigers in Hollywood… or something like that. It was about Asian actors trying to find work in films and how hard it was for them to land a role mostly because of the whole “American Market” thing where they’d rather see a Caucasian in a lead role than an Asian. Kinda sad, really.
    Brave of you to speak out about the issue and that only makes me respect you more. If they plan to make more adapatations of Avatar, I’m hoping they at least cast ya for something.:/

  33. Adren says:

    hey Dante. First of all let me just say I’m a huge fan. I love your role in Take the Lead. And as far as Avatar the Last Airbender goes that has been one of my very favorite shows over the years. Zuko was always one of my favorite characters and I definitely think it should have been you playing him. I’m sure Dev Patel did a great job too, I’ve yet to see it, but I think that the image I have of Zuko cannot be replaced you know? Well when I watch it I’ll be sure to let you know my opinion.

  34. nemogbr says:

    Thank you.

    The Last Airbender film joins the travesty the Hollywood studios practice in their attempt to keep the Hays code extant.

    I would compare this film to the Good Earth from 1935 and John Wayne’s The Conqueror. From what I gather, they are even attempting to cast Mickey Rourke in a remake of Genghis Khan/the Conqueror.

  35. John says:

    The real Prince Zuko, I can’t believe they didn’t cast you.. Your part in the movie would have brought in millions… what were they thinking?

  36. Adren says:

    wow. I hated the movie. I didn’t really like the casting. The movie was a B movie at best. It was a huge disappointment. I can’t believe the PURPOSELY mispronounced some of the names. Who cares what the “Asian Origins” are if they say it a certain way in the show STICK TO THAT WAY! None of the characters were done justice and what was up with the firebenders having to be near a candle? I could go on and on and on but actually I’m glad they didn’t cast you in that movie because seriously I don’t think they deserved to have you in such a poor quality movie. The show is literally 10 million times better and at least you were a part of something better than this cheap immitation.

  37. John says:

    I just wanted to take the time out to say thanks to you.
    After watching Hook, then realizing you were Filipino after watching The Debut, and seeing you in Blood and Bone, you’re kinda someone I look up to. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be an actor, but being Filipino kinda makes it hard for you to get noticed, unless you’re a handsome boy and move out to the Philippines and get casted for a movie on GMA or TFC. We all watch TV and movies and notice there are barely any Asian Americans, and Filipino height doesn’t help at all (lol).

    I really honestly thought you could’ve/should’ve played Prince Zuko for the movie. It would’ve been perfect to have the actual voice actor play his character. But at the same time my hat goes off to Dev Patel because he probably did the best acting out of the 4 main characters. If there is any way to get a group going to shine some light on Asian American actors, hit me with an e-mail!
    Thanks Alot!

  38. Emily says:

    You’ve always been amazing. 🙂 From Take The Lead to But I’m A Cheerleader (which had a great message in its own right).

  39. Cydney Palmatier says:

    Dante, I wonder if you ever read these comments. If so, let me go on and say what many others before me have stated already.

    I know many of us were eager to hear what you thought on The Last Airbender, and you definitely woke me when you voiced your thoughts on the Asian roles in Hollywood. As an American, you never really think about that sort of thing. I think the most we accomplish in noticing the corruption of Hollywood is the repetition of “famous” actors. Honestly, the only Asian actor I know of besides you is Jackie Chan, and he is known mostly for his kung-fu / martial arts movies. I think that you really opened up the eyes of people in America, hopefully it will be seen by people associated with Hollywood itself. Who knows, maybe you can help scrape off some of the corroded Hollywood stereotype roles, and open up some new ones for deserving Asian actors. I will be sharing your post on your thoughts on my Facebook page, if it’s anything. Thank you 🙂
    -Cydney Palmatier

  40. Jordan says:

    Hey Dante,

    I’m the administrator at AvatarTheLastAirbenderOnline.com

    We would love to interview you and get your opinion and ideas about things Related to The Last Airbender, Korra, etc..

    Let me know if interested, you can reach us here with your contact info and best way to reach you:


    Thank you for your time.

    – Jordan

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