'White man fantasy': Indigenous groups call for boycott of Avatar 2

TECHNOLOGY

One film critic criticized Avatar: The Way of Water as a “white man’s fantasy of Native American resistance,” as at least one indigenous group called for a boycott of the blockbuster sequel.

The film opened to largely positive reviews—a 78% critical and 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes—and nearly half a billion dollars worldwide at the box office.

However, Jason Asenap – who hails from the Comanche and Muscogee Creek tribes, according to his biography – writing for Grist, wrote that he hoped viewers would look for “indigenous futurism films” from people other than director James Cameron, making it if the most recent indigenous critic of the film.

Asenap points out that “you can make up whatever you want into a fantastical tale and even have your leftover cake too,” but that the issue is that Cameron based the original film on the plight of the indigenous Lakota Sioux people.

One film critic criticized Avatar: The Way of Water as a

One film critic criticized Avatar: The Way of Water as a “white man’s fantasy of Native American resistance,” as at least one indigenous group called for a boycott of the blockbuster sequel.

Cameron told The Guardian in 2010: ‘I couldn’t help thinking that if they [the Lakota Sioux] they had a window of time and they could see the future… and they could see their children committing suicide with the highest suicide rates in the country… because they had no hope and it was a dead end society – which is what it’s happening right now – they would have fought a lot harder.

Asenap calls the 12-year-old comments ‘deaf, condescending and not the kind of ally I want or need to help tell indigenous stories.’

He notes that a Native American group, Indigenous Pride Los Angeles, called for a boycott of the film.

Asdzáá Tłʼéé honaaʼéí, co-president of the group, tweeted: ‘DO NOT watch Avatar: The Way of Water. Join Natives and other indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrific, racist film. Our cultures have been misappropriated to satisfy some [white] man savior complex. No more blue face! The Lakota people are powerful!’

The critic suggests that someone like Taika Waititi, himself a descendant of the Māori, indigenous tribes of New Zealand, may have been more sensitive with the material.

Asenap wonders about the film’s overall point: “We need a white guy to gloss over these issues in the fantasy world where 10-foot-tall aliens fight ‘hard enough’ to save the day and prove we’re not one after all.” dead-end society’?

Asenap - who hails from the Comanche and Muscogee Creek tribes, according to his biography - calls James Cameron's comments from 12 years ago

Asenap – who hails from the Comanche and Muscogee Creek tribes, according to his biography – calls James Cameron’s comments from 12 years ago “deaf, condescending and not the kind of ally I want or need to help tell Indigenous stories.”

Asenap notes that a Native American group, Indigenous Pride Los Angeles, called for a boycott of the film.

Asenap notes that a Native American group, Indigenous Pride Los Angeles, called for a boycott of the film.

Asdzáá Tłʼéé honaaʼéí, co-president of the group, tweeted: 'DO NOT watch Avatar: The Way of Water.  Join Natives and other indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrific, racist film.  Our cultures have been misappropriated to satisfy some [white] man savior complex.  No more blue face!  The Lakota people are powerful!'

Asdzáá Tłʼéé honaaʼéí, co-president of the group, tweeted: ‘DO NOT watch Avatar: The Way of Water. Join Natives and other indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrific, racist film. Our cultures have been misappropriated to satisfy some [white] man savior complex. No more blue face! The Lakota people are powerful!’

He concludes: ‘We’ve got enough proven talent at this point that we don’t need privileged, far-flung directors like James Cameron to appropriate indigenous culture for their stories. We can tell our own stories. We tell them better.’

It’s not the first case of someone accusing the film of cultural appropriation in the run-up to and in the days following the sequel’s release.

Freelance film critic Kathia Woods, who has contributed to Buzzfeed News and The Philadelphia Tribune, made the comments on Twitter.

“At some point we have to talk about the cultural appropriation of Avatar and the white actors playing the poc. It’s just a mess and it’s not necessary and no amount of VFX/CGI is going to erase it. Bad lace fronts/dried synthetic braids. Jesus fix this,’ she said.

Cos play is the act of wearing a costume to portray a specific character.

Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in Avatar: The Way of Water, which premiered last week

Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in Avatar: The Way of Water, which premiered last week

Freelance film critic Kathia Woods claimed the film was guilty of

Freelance film critic Kathia Woods claimed the film was guilty of “cultural appropriation” and that the white actors “played” as “people of color” even though their characters were blue indigenous aliens

Woods has now made his Twitter account private, but many have seized on his comment as a deal gone too far.

‘James Cameron didn’t even try to find native blue people to play these roles,’ joked Free Beacon reporter Andrew Kerr.

‘Apparently only 2.7m tall blue aliens can play 2.7m tall blue aliens in movies!’ joked radio host Dan O’Donnell.

Woods failed to notice the fact that not only are the Na’vi creatures depicted in the film described as ‘blue indigenous humanoids’ living on the planet Pandora, some are in fact played by black actors in the film.

Zoe Saldana is among the leads, along with Maori actor Cliff Curtis, African-American star Laz Alonso and Bailey Bass.

Woods, a freelance critic for The Philadelphia Tribune and Buzzfeed, has made her Twitter account private.

Woods, a freelance critic for The Philadelphia Tribune and Buzzfeed, has made her Twitter account private.

Woods was immediately ridiculed for her awake version of the blockbuster film.

Woods was immediately ridiculed for her awake version of the blockbuster film.

Avatar: The Way Of Water took in $434.5 million at the box office during its global opening, according to studio estimates on Sunday, after director James Cameron said he needs to earn $2 billion to break even.

The sequel grossed $134 million in North American theaters and another $300.5 million internationally for a global opening of $434.5 million.

‘The Way of Water’ tied with ‘The Batman’ for the fourth-biggest domestic opening of the year, behind several Marvel blockbusters like ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ ($187.4 million in May), ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ ($181 million in November) and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ ($144.2 million in July).

🇧🇷