December 4, 2023

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Indigenous Communities Bash New “Avatar” For Racist Stereotypes

“Avatar: The Way of Water” is still fresh in theatres, but it’s continuing to make headlines for its allegedly racist tropes.

Indigenous communities are speaking out about the series’ second instalment. Many are accusing the film of continuing to glamorize colonialism.

Citizens walk by a poster of film ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ at a cinema on December 16, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

The first movie, directed by James Cameron, was released in 2009 to critical acclaim. It was praised upon its release because of the 3D effects and editing. At the time, the use of this kind of technology was monumental.

However, critics and movie-watchers alike were quick to point out the film’s dangerous portrayal of Native stereotypes.

According to an article by The Washington Post, Indigenous critics say that no progress has been made since the original. They say that the problematic flaws present in the first movie reappear in its follow-up.

Within the science fiction films, the alien species called Na’vi are reportedly inspired by real Indigenous tribes around the world. The Maori, who are the Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, are allegedly the inspiration behind “The Way of Water.”

Additionally, some are calling for the boycott of the movie due to some racist remarks made by Cameron 12 years ago. In 2010, he allegedly said that the Lacota people should have fought harder against colonialism.

New Movie, Same Stereotypes

Although Cameron vowed to make an effort in improving the second movie in these ways, it appears as though it still embraces racial stereotypes. Furthermore, the plot is being accused of romanticizing colonialism and downplaying the real-life suffering of Indigenous communities.

Regardless of the backlash, the film has still managed to be successful in its first week. According to reports, it made $53 million on its opening day. However, its three-day earnings are $130M-$150M, slightly below predictions.

Cameron, or anyone else from the movie’s production, have yet to make a comment.

Have you seen the new Avatar? If so, do you think the series should be boycotted? Comment down below.

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