Film critic mercilessly mocked after claiming white actors portraying Avatar aliens is ‘culture appropriation’

Escapism is the point for many moviegoers, especially for sci-fi and fantasy fans, but one film critic was unable to check her woke at the door before reviewing the new “Avatar” and backlash from her embarrassing hot take led her to privatize her account.

More than a decade since director James Cameron broke box office records with the 2009 release of “Avatar,” spectators were transported back to the planet Pandora to follow the tall, lithe and blue alien race known as the Na’vi on another three-hour romp promoting the filmmaker’s environmentalism message in “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Unfortunately for film critic Kathia Woods, who has written for the Philadelphia Tribune and BuzzFeed, the plot couldn’t even be addressed until something was said about all those white actors taking jobs away from nine-foot-tall blue people.

“At some point we gotta talk about the cultural appropriation of Avatar and white actors are cos playing as [people of color],” she posted to Twitter. “It’s just a mess and so not necessary & no amount of visual effects/CGI is gonna erase that. Bad Lace fronts/ Dry synthetic braids. Jesus fix it.”

While many were quick to point out that the inspiration for the fictional species came from the Māori and that the evidently race-baiting Woods was wrong to lump all non-white peoples together to satisfy her own divisive message, others cut straight to the heart of the matter that it made no difference who was cast to play a completely made up group of people both pointedly and with sarcasm.

Others saw Woods’ tweet as an opportunity to remind the critic that the cast was diverse, including actresses CCH Pounder, Zoe Saldana and actor Cliff Curtis, himself of Māori descent, while more still drove home the point that a main aspect of the plot was humans seeing the world from the perspective of others.

Of course, as the absurdity of her take got lampooned around social media, instead of considering the inanity of her statement, retracting it, or even trying to defend the outlandish claim, Woods retreated into the protective cocoon of a privatized account, allowing only her less than 5,000 followers to see and react to her tweets.

https://twitter.com/SigurerangikuT/status/1605157667890089984

On top of that, Woods, who writes about “Black, African-American, Latinx, and female filmmakers/television producers,” on her own website, offered up a response to her critics Monday and wrote, “Apparently I made some people on the right mad with my Avatar tweet to the point someone email me. Thank you.”

With her limited exposure, it is unlikely that the original post had any meaningful impact on turnout for the film that had an opening weekend of roughly $134 million. Cameron himself has suggested the movie needs to gross around $2 billion before it could be considered profitable, but some viewers were likely already turned off from supporting the sequel after the same creator who brought the world the “Terminator” franchise decried testosterone as a “toxin that you have to slowly work out of your system.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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