People Are Calling For Others To Boycott Avatar: The Way Of Water Because It’s ‘Racist’

Credit: Vuk Valcic / Alamy
Just over a week after it was released, it seems some people are boycotting Avatar: The Way of Water over accusations of cultural appropriation.

Avatar 2 is James Cameron's first feature film that he has directed in 13 years and it is the second of four total Avatar sequels. While the second installment has been a talking point for well over a decade now, it only started filming in 2017 before being released on December 16, 2022.

It tells the story of Jake Sully and his quest to finish what was previously started when a familiar threat returns to planet Pandora. He, along with Neytiri and the army of the Na'vi race, must work together to protect their families and their home.

What was meant to be a thrilling and seemingly wholesome story about the importance of family, has now been on the receiving end of criticism after it was slammed for cultural appropriation.
Avatar: The Way of Water has faced criticism from some fans. Credit: FlixPix / Alamy
Yuè Begay, a Native American influencer and co-chair of Indigenous Pride LA has been extremely vocal about the issue.

Taking to Twitter, she proposed a Way of Water boycott.

"Do NOT watch Avatar: The Way of Water,” she wrote on Twitter, shortly after the film hit the big screens. "Join Natives and other Indigenous groups around the world in boycotting this horrible and racist film.

"Our cultures were appropriated in a harmful manner to satisfy some [white] man’s savior complex. No more Blueface! Lakota people are powerful!"

The social activist later followed up on their proposal calling for the creation of a platform that connects people to reviews from marginalized communities.

"Is there a platform that looks into movies before they release & gives their feedback from community input on whether or not to support it?" Begay wrote. "Yes, many people didn't know about James Cameron being anti-Native. But we do need to be educated on not contributing to these films' success..."

"This includes me," she continued. "(I've watched a couple of films that I later learned were backed by and starred horrible people). Not to mention the erasure that happens in movies & the colonization of our narratives.

"I'd love to support a platform like that."

Cameron has previously been criticized for insensitive comments he made in 2010 in which he suggested that Native tribes could have "fought harder" to avoid genocide.

Speaking to the Guardian at the time, he said: “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 added that this was the "driving force" for the storyline 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 [taking their own lives] 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."
Some have called for a boycott of Avatar: Way of Water. Credit: Album / Alamy
Despite the calls for a boycott, it seems the movie is having no trouble when it comes to raking in that dollar.

According to the Independent, Avatar: The Way of Water is on track to be hitting one billion dollars in box office takings in the new year.
The film is proving to be a box office success nonetheless. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
The outlet reported that the film made $435m globally in its opening weekend and, as of Thursday morning (December 22), it had made $609.7m.

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