On Sunday, film critic Kathia Woods ignited a wave of controversy with her comments on the “Avatar” movie series, which many labeled as racist and offensive.
The tweet alleged that James Cameron’s blockbuster franchise is an example of cultural appropriation. This debate among fans online was about representation in Hollywood films.
“Avatar 2” Guilty of Cultural Appropriation
After 11 years of anticipation, the highly-anticipated sequel to James Cameron’s record-breaking 2009 blockbuster “Avatar” finally arrived in theaters on Friday.
Fans across the globe rushed out in droves for a glimpse into what could be one of modern cinema’s most groundbreaking films ever as Avatar: The Way of Water brought five long years’ worth of production and hype with it.
Kathia Woods has raised concerns about the upcoming James Cameron film Avatar, suggesting that its casting of white actors in fictional alien roles constitutes “cultural appropriation.”
— Ministry of Dude w/ Doctor Til (@theDoctorTil) December 19, 2022
She took to Twitter to criticize the white actors portraying aliens on screen, questioning why it was even necessary in an age of digital effects and CGI.
In an impassioned plea for better representation onscreen, Woods argued that no amount of visual effects could erase this fundamental flaw. She pointed out, in particular, issues like visible dry synthetic braids used by certain characters.
After social media users attacked and mocked the tweet of Woods, particularly for claiming the blue alien characters on Avatar were “appropriation,” she made her account private.
Cameron Did Not Attempt To Look for Native Blue People
Andrew Kerr of Washington Free Beacon tweeted saying that Cameron did not attempt to look for native blue people to play these characters.
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
Becket Adams, columnist of Washington Examiner and The Federalist writer, Anna James Ziegler, all agreed that Avatar director, James Cameron’s failure to cast actual Na’vi actors for his movie about Na’vi people is “disgusting.”
Libertarian Hannah Cox took it further by tweeting with outrage at the idea of equating made-up aliens to real people, calling it a deeply offensive act.
In a surprising twist, Alberto Miguel Fernandez of the European Conservative has suggested that filmmaker James Cameron may be guilty of cultural appropriation for his work on Avatar.
Making matters more interesting, it was revealed that the original script for this much-loved movie wasn’t written by someone who shares its Na’vi protagonist’s iconic blue skin tone.
In a light-hearted remark on his radio show, Dan O’Donnell mused that only nine-foot-tall blue aliens can make the cut to get major roles in films.
Despite criticism from filmmaker Woods that Avatar: The Way of Water had white actors playing people of color, notable non-white stars, like Emmy nominee CCH Pounder and Zoe Saldaña (as fan favorite Neytiri), are found among the alien characters in this highly anticipated sequel.
Monday proved to be an eventful day for Twitter user Tamara Woods when she caught the ire of “some people on the right” after tweeting her opinion. Woods took it all in stride and thanked those who emailed her.