When you get down to it, the issue the petition focuses on is racism.
My frustration can be explained via two pictures. Characters in the cartoon:
The casting of the same characters in the movie:
This is about the way Hollywood has been doing movies, where heroes = whites and villains = people of color. Whitewashing has been happening throughout the history of film and it continues today.
Personally, the rage I feel comes primarily from the fact that the entire Water Tribe - the nation with pretty much the darkest skin tone in the series - has been white-washed. And at the same time, we have Fire Nation - the villains, with a much lighter skin tone than the Water Tribe - as an asian!nation.
Hollywood has done this time and again with movies and I can't even explain the frustration I feel to see it being done to Avatar which has always been about going past that.
I hate the way people are telling others to just suck it up and deal - that nothing can be done, that it's just a movie and doesn't matter in the scheme of things. It's not just Avatar - it's Dragonball, it's Prince of Persia, it's AKIRA, its Cowboy frickin Bebop.
And Avatar isn't a Japanese anime being turned into an American movie - it's already a western cartoon and doesn't need to be Americanized for mass consumption and to increase marketability because those Asian themes its incorporates is exactly WHY there's such a huge fan base already in America and the world over.
If y'all haven't signed the petition yet *points to the button above*