Disney Disaster — Native Americans, Indigenous Groups Call for ‘Avatar 2′ Boycott: ‘Racist Film’

Avatar 2

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water faces calls for boycotts from Native Americans and indigenous groups for alleged cultural appropriation and for promoting the white savior complex.

In a tweet on Sunday, Navajo artist and co-chair of Indigenous Pride Los Angeles, Yuè Begay, denounced Avatar as a “horrible & racist film” that must be boycotted.

“Join Natives & other Indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrible & racist film,” tweeted Begay. “Our cultures were appropriated in a harmful manner to satisfy some [white flag emoji] man’s savior complex.”

“No more Blueface! Lakota people are powerful!” she added.

Begay shared a statement that Cameron made in 2010 to The Guardian when he opposed the building of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the Amazon, leading to the displacement of the Lakota Sioux tribe. Cameron said the conflict inspired him to write the original Avatar. He sparked backlash at the time when he suggested the tribe could have potentially won their battle if they “fought a lot harder.”

“I felt like I was 130 years back in time watching what the Lakota Sioux might have been saying at a point when they were being pushed and they were being killed and they were being asked to displace and they were being given some form of compensation,” he said.

“This was a driving force for me in the writing of ‘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,” he added.

Begay received over 12,000 retweets and 47k likes as people praised her protest.

“It was always obvious Cameron was profiting off appropriation and the white savior. ‘They would have fought harder.’ Go kick rocks, Cameron,” said one user.

“Don’t watch that movie. I couldn’t even begin how wrong he is about ‘they would have fought harder,’” tweeted self-proclaimed Oglala subtribe of the Lakota people, Anpo Jensen.

“James Cameron apparently made ‘Avatar’ to inspire all my dead ancestors to ‘fight harder,’” Dr. Johanna Brewer of Smith College tweeted. “Eff right off with that savior complex, bud. And everyone, please go watch a real native movie instead of that badly appropriated blue trash.”

“Eww, way to victim blame & not reflect on your own positionally/ privilege,” tweeted Lydia Jennings, of the Wixárika and Yoeme people. “Saw original ‘Avatar’; was annoyed people celebrated the story while not reflecting on how many Indigenous Nations in the present are fighting to do so.”


Cameron has not commented on the calls to boycott.


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