Wanna hear something insane? James Cameron managed to appropriate a culture–that he himself made for his movie. Lemme reiterate: James Cameron appropriated Na’vi culture.
How can one appropriate a culture one made up? Lemme tell you the Tl;dr.
Dude basically sank a ton of money into worldbuilding apparently. From flora to fauna to the solar system to two competing schools of thought on how the McGuffin dubbed Unobtanium works. Naturally of course–mans hired a buncha anthropologist and linguists to write up Na’vi culture.
Among them Na’vi culture builder was a ethnic music and instrument specialist. She and the main composer of the soundtrack was tasked to write various music for the movie. Their task was ridiculously complex: They have to write music that is simultanously non-white BUT culturally ambiguous.
The Na’vi was meant to literally be the definition of non-white so the specialist and composer had to basically mix the music of every non-modern-western culture under the sun, and make it sound coherent. That’s just crazy.
The specialist and composer somehow managed to cobble together a bunch of songs that didn’t sound like anything anyone’s ever heard and they sent the demo. James Cameron heard all of it. And you know what he said: “too foreign. the audience wouldn’t get it.” and told them to make it essentially more palatable for the white western audience.
Did you catch that? composer wrote a completely non-white, bizzare alien songs that ofc no white ppl (or anybody on earth for that matter) would be able to appreciate. That is EXACTLY what the Na’vi supposed to represent: alien-ness. And what did Cameron do with it? Make it whiter. Keep some alien-ness so it’s not too white, but make it whiter.
WOW. Cameron’s a genius.