Not everyone wants to go back to Pandora. According to the L.A. Times, several Native American groups are protesting the release of James Cameron’s Avatar sequel over resurfaced comments from the director. In 2010, Cameron campaigned against the building of the giant Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the Amazon and spoke about how he was inspired to write Avatar after learning from Indigenous people. “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 in The Guardian. “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.”
Indigenous leaders such as Yuè Begay were insulted by Cameron’s comments and called for a boycott of the film. Johanna Brewer, a professor at Smith College, also called for a protest “James Cameron apparently made Avatar to inspire all my dead ancestors to ‘fight harder’. Eff right off with that savior complex, bud. And everyone, please go watch a real native movie instead of that badly appropriated blue trash,” they tweeted. The film grossed $435 million globally over the past weekend, but groups have offered alternative films if movie lovers want another option inspired by Native American culture.