I’ve been reading that  M. Night Shyamalan is persona non grata for the casting choices in his latest directorial adventure, The Last Airbender.  Asians are being called upon to boycott the film.  I know nothing about this movie or the anime show upon which it is based, but I gather that the main characters are supposed to be Asian and Inuit. 

As I understand it, Shyamalan cast people from completely different racial groups.  In his defense,  how many skilled Inuit actors can be found in Hollywood, or anywhere?  How many Inuits are there in the world, period?

But as Malcolm said, upon hearing this, “Isn’t Shyamalan INDIAN?”  As in, descended from people born in India.  Well, yes.  And therefore, Malcolm implied, shouldn’t Shyamalan of all people know better than to swap out one racial group for another?  Again, yes.  Probably.

However, in the annals, or anals, or horrendous cross-cultural casting, nothing beats the brilliant decision by Blake Edwards, director of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to cast Irish-American Mickey Rooney as Audrey Hepburn’s Japanese neighbor.  Talk about appalling.

Compared to Blake, M. Night is a paragon of “close enough” virtue. 

Seen any good movies lately?  How about good movies with bad casting, racial or otherwise?  How about bad movies with good casting?
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