Following original Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino's public exit from the in development live action adaptation for Netflix, fans have launched a new petition in the hopes to "save" the upcoming series from Netflix. As part of the very public exit of Konietzko and DiMartino, fans learned that while Netflix originally announced that the new series will be following close with the original creative vision behind the animated series in practice the process in making the live-action series was a lot more fraught with creative pushback than anyone could have expected.
As noted by @talesofsuki on Twitter, a new petition has been created by "ATLA Fans" to demand "cultural representation and age appropriation" in Netflix's upcoming live-action series. Citing the fact that Konietzko and DiMartino stated that their vision will ultimately not be the one on screen, Avatar: The Last Airbender fans are launching this petition in the hopes that this does not means the central cast will be changed too much from their original counterparts.
As stated on their official petition page (which you can find here), "We fear that the casting of the live-action will lack proper cultural representation, and we DEMAND that all the cast members are properly representing their character's origins; for instance, the cast members for Katara and Sokka MUST be Native, not white but NATIVE." This push is a result of seeing the M.Night Shyamalan directed years ago, and still infamously viewed to this day as changing far too much from the original series.
Along with the demand for a native cast with Indigenous our Inuit actors, the petition is arguing for an age-appropriate cast, "[...We] demand that the characters' age is age-appropriate, as seen in the animated series. These characters are MINORS and shouldn't be aged up to sexualize them. It is not okay to age the characters to fit the casting's ideal image, and we DEMAND that the cast members fit their actual age in the series."
The final demand, however, is an interesting one considering how many of the fans of the original series wanted Katara and Zuko to end up together. The petition argues that this would be a bad idea as it will negatively reflect how the Fire Nation colonized and conquered the other countries, "[We] demand that there are NO colonizer/colonized romance in the live-action series. Pairing any fire nation members with other nations is wrong because it fits the colonizer/colonized dynamic, which is extremely offensive towards Native individuals."
What do you think of this Avatar: The Last Airbender petition? Worried how Netflix will ultimately handle the live-action series? Will you be watching the new show when it launches? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!