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Native Americans Have Called For A Boycott Of ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Over Comments From James Cameron

Despite what supporting player Edie Falco thinks, Avatar 2 didn’t come out a long time ago and bomb. It just came out and it’s doing very well — not as well as it could be doing, but James Cameron films have a history of sticking around until they’ve made all the money (even if he’s not above flipping off certain fans). Not everyone is interested in returning to Pandora, though. Some Native Americans are boycotting the film based on things Cameron said about a decade ago.

An interview Cameron did in 2010 has recently resurfaced, in which he said something about Native Americans to which some have taken offense. The filmmaker was talking to The Guardian about being against the building of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the Amazon (which wound up being built). During the chat, he mentioned that the plight of indigenous people greatly inspired the original Avatar.

“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,” Cameron 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.”

Cameron likely meant no harm. But his words — especially that last bit — was not well-taken by some.

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

Others recommended different movies about indigenous people they can watch instead.

Cameron has yet to publicly comment on the boycott.