Avatar: The Way of Water has been out for a while now, and people still manage to find things to talk about, connecting to the movie, its cast, and the more powerful message it sends. It hit a box office of 1,700,800,000 USD domestically and worldwide, making it the 7th highest-grossing film of all time. What is left to talk about? For one, people would like to know if Lil Mosey is in Avatar: The Way of Water and why they think so.
Lil Mosey, the American rapper most known for his songs like Blueberry Faygo, does not have a role in Avatar: The Way of Water. It’s easy to think so since one of the characters looks like a spitting image of the rapper. Specifically, the character in mind is Rotxo, part of the Metkayina clan that bullied both Kiri and Lo’ak.
How come the two look alike even though the actor doesn’t play the role of Rotxo? Who plays Rotxo instead, and why do some people think this is a problem with the movie? Let’s dig into it in the rest of this article.
Who is Lil Mosey?
As mentioned before, Lil Mosey is an American rapper who rose to fame in 2017 when he released his hit single ”Pull Up”. In 2018, he released his debut album Northsbest, including the single ”Noticed” featured in the Billboard hot 100 charts.
His last album was released in 2019 and he hasn’t been creating since. It could just be that the rapper was prevented from making any more music since he had to deal with legal issues. He was charged with rape in April 2021, and the trial is supposed to begin in February 2023.
Who is Rotxo?
Rotxo is a side character in Avatar 2 and a friend to the children of the Mekayina clans leader, Tsireya and Ao’Nung. He and Ao’nung first bullied Kiri at the beach when she looked at the sand and connected with every fiber of Eywa by calling her a freak. Her adopted brothers, Neteyam and Lo’ak, fought the two and got in trouble later.
The second time Rotxo bullied Lo’ak was when they went hunting out in the open sea. While diving, they found a creature to hunt. They prompted Lo’ak to go out and hunt for it when they left him out in the open waters all alone. It would have been an innocent prank if an Akula didn’t attack Lo’akuckily, Payakan, his outcast Tulkun friend, saved him from the creature and safely brought him home.
Why do they look alike?
It’s no secret that the lore of the Na’vi people and all humanoid creatures of Avatar relate to black people. Their facial structure is strikingly similar, and they are the ones who can relate to the story the most. It was, perhaps, an accident that Lil Mosey and Rotxo look alike. It starts with their hair and facial structure and ends with their body composition(since Lil Mosey is 5ft 7 inches tall and Rotxo looks like he’s short too).
Why is it a problem?
It’s not a problem that Rotxo and Lil Mosey look alike, but it is a problem that directly confirms how the Na’vi and people of African origin are related. James Cameron’s work has been plagued with unapologetic racism for a long time, but it’s no longer acceptable to the general public. The story of a white savior coming to rescue other races from peril was never okay, to begin with, but people let it slide.
Now it seems like people are angry and raising their voices more and more in fighting for a racism-free world. Many have pointed out how Avatar 2 can easily be traced back to cultural appropriation. If you don’t know, cultural appropriation is the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of practices, customs, and culture of one part of people or society by another that’s usually more dominant.
It wouldn’t matter if the cast weren’t predominantly white, lending their voices to the alien-like depiction of people of color. Some people will argue that it’s sci-fi and that the Na’vi is a made-up race in a made-up world, but why couldn’t they take on parts of the white culture then? Why does a white savior have to come along and rescue the day like some big hero when the antagonists of both movies are the same people?
Whatever your stance, it’s not up to us to discuss and get offended by it. The only people that can judge it are people of color, and it’s up to us to support them in their decisions.