Director James Cameron is being slammed as “tone-deaf” and “condescending” over the second “Avatar” film, with one critic branding it a “white man’s fantasy of Native American resistance” as indigenous groups call for a boycott of the monster sequel.
The film,”Avatar: The Way of Water,” has already brought in almost half a billion dollars worldwide and Rotten Tomatoes claims it’s a hit with a 78% critic score and a 93% audience score.
Not everyone is a fan, however. Writer Jason Asenap, who is descended from Comanche and Muscogee Creek tribes, called the movie an attempt at “indigenous futurism filmmaking,” urging moviegoers to watch something else, according to Grist.
Asenap went on to assert that “you can make up anything you want in a fantastical tale and even have your left-leaning cake too” but it doesn’t change the alleged fact that Cameron based the original Avatar on the plight of the Lakota Sioux indigenous people.
(Video Credit: Avatar)
“I couldn’t help but think that if they [the Lakota Sioux] had had a time-window and they could see the future … and they could see their kids committing suicide at the highest suicide rates in the nation … because they were hopeless and they were a dead-end society — which is what is happening now — they would have fought a lot harder,” Cameron said in an interview with The Guardian in 2010.
Asenap said the director’s comments 12 years ago were “tone-deaf, condescending, and not the kind of ally I want or need to help tell Indigenous stories.”
He went on to ponder exactly what the point of the movie actually was, “Do we need a white guy to dress these issues up in the world of fantasy where 10-foot-tall aliens fight ‘hard enough’ to save the day to prove that we aren’t, after all, a ‘dead-end society?'”
He concluded his venting by stating, “We have enough proven talent at this point and don’t need out-of-touch, privileged directors like James Cameron to appropriate Indigenous culture for his stories. We can tell our own stories. We tell them better.”
Indigenous Pride Los Angeles is one of the groups that is calling for a boycott of the film.
Yuè Begay, who is the co-chair of the group, took to Twitter to advise people not to watch the movie, “Do NOT watch Avatar: The Way of Water. Join Natives & other Indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrible & racist film. Our cultures were appropriated in a harmful manner to satisfy some [white] man’s savior complex. No more Blueface! Lakota people are powerful!”
The flick has been bashed by others accusing the film of cultural appropriation.
Freelance film critic Kathia Woods, who has contributed to Buzzfeed News and The Philadelphia Tribune, slammed the movie over it.
“At some point we gotta talk about the cultural appropriation of Avatar and white actors are cos playing as poc. 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,” she carped.
She was mocked for her whining over cultural appropriation.
“James Cameron didn’t even try to find native blue people to play these roles smh,” Free Beacon reporter Andrew Kerr snarked.
James Cameron didn't even try to find native blue people to play these roles smh https://t.co/84ibJzGlh2
— Andrew Kerr (@AndrewKerrNC) December 19, 2022
“Only nine-foot tall blue aliens can play nine-foot tall blue aliens in movies, apparently!” radio host Dan O’Donnell quipped.
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