Alien Appropriations?

In alien appropriations, cowboys and aliens, Hollywood stereotypes by Adrienne K.4 Comments

I’ve been a little negative lately, so I wanted to share a quick conversation with my parents and my friend Chris that made me laugh:

Me (to Chris): Have you seen Cowboys and Aliens yet? What did you think?

Chris: It was ok.

Me: There are Indians in it right? Am I going to be offended?

Dad: I, personally, was incredibly offended by the stereotypical portrayals of the aliens. Don’t they know there are hundreds of different Alien groups? and that only a small number of them even look like that? Those images just continue to teach people there is only one way that aliens look.

Chris: He’s right. Not all aliens have goopy hands that come out of their stomachs. How stereotypical.

Mom: And with all the Alien actors out there, why couldn’t they find some real Aliens to play the parts? Why did they have to use all non-Alien actors? That really needs to change.

It was pretty hilarious hearing my broken record about portrayals of Natives in Hollywood being repeated back to me. I take it as a victory that my message has at least gotten through to my parents and close friends…and I realize it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself sometimes too. :)

  • Okay, that’s pretty funny!! However, the movie itself does suck. It could have been a cracking good colonization parable — but NO. It was just stupid. And Adam Beach’s character had fricken’ Stockholm Syndrome — he’d so internalized his own colonization at the hands of Harrison Ford’s noble settler daddy that he loved him! Ack barf.

    The bottom line? Don’t bother!!

  • It is a terrible movie. I actually thought of you while I was watching it, wondering if you would do a post on it! I’m curious about the Native Appropriations community’s reaction.

  • Every time I hear about this movie I think of your blog haha. I am curious about what exactly the movie… entails.

  • I do think the original comic this movie is based from is still online for viewing. I should probably read it myself one of these days.

    I find the movie in-line with the usual white person (generally white USian) colonization fiction story. Unknown , and even aggressive, invaders taking their land–*sardonic laughter whenever the story takes place in the americas*–these strangers use powerful and/or advanced technology against the humans, often times they devestate human settlements, civilizations or populations but the humans fight back or form a resistance effort against them and eventually win.

    Scenario plays out the same even when the aliens attempt to act as friends (e.g. the old & new V series). A rarity when the humans actually lose or the aliens aren’t somehow defeated or forced to retreat.

    And I think you can also apply this to fantasy and not just sci-fi.