IDENTITY POLITICS MAKING LEFTISTS BIG MAD OVER SMURFS: The Avatar sequel is getting heat from some Indigenous people.
More than a decade after sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar” hit theaters, James Cameron is back with a sequel that once again takes audiences into the lush world of Pandora. But some Indigenous viewers aren’t particularly interested in returning to it.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” and its director are facing fresh scrutiny from Native audiences, some of whom have criticized the franchise for its “White savior” narrative, use of stereotypes and inadequate representation of Indigenous people.
Yuè Begay, a Navajo artist and activist, called for a boycott of the film in a tweet that’s since received more than 47,000 likes, while Autumn Asher Blackdeer, a scholar from the Southern Cheyenne Nation, compiled a widely shared list of Indigenous-led sci-fi films for viewers to watch instead. Countless others have also weighed in with their own complaints, with some – including Begay – calling out remarks made by Cameron in earlier interviews.
The “Avatar” franchise isn’t subtle in its anti-colonial, anti-imperialist and environmentalist themes – Cameron has said as much, previously referring to the first film as “a science fiction retelling of the history of North and South America in the early colonial period.”
But despite the director’s intentions, critics of “Avatar” feel the films fall short in their execution.