Avatar has received many reviews and ratings since it’s release just over 3 weeks ago, however it has been given a rather unique rating by a site called SceneSmoking.org. They’ve given it a “black lung”, along with the following review:
In the world of Avatar, everything is modern and technologically forward, but obviously the creators were not thinking forward when they included smoking in several scenes of the movie.
One of their main issues comes from a scene where Dr. Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver, is seen smoking on-screen after coming out of her mind transporting/fridge/incubator machine. She clearly hadn’t smoked up in a while, and she was craving one like most smokers do. When I watched the scene I acknowledged that she was smoking, and I remember it quite clearly, however I thought it added to her ‘pissed off scientist working for idiots’ character, and it shouldn’t really be an issue.
Thankfully, James Cameron took time out of counting up Avatar‘s box office gross to address this issue:
In a statement sent by e-mail over the weekend, Mr. Cameron said he had never intended Ms. Weaver’s character, Grace Augustine, to be “an aspirational role model” for teenagers.
“She’s rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes,” wrote Mr. Cameron. “Also, from a character perspective, we were showing that Grace doesn’t care about her human body, only her avatar body, which again is a negative comment about people in our real world living too much in their avatars, meaning online and in video games.”
Speaking as an artist, Mr. Cameron said: “I don’t believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality. If it’s O.K. for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG-13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking? I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers.”
Smoking, Mr. Cameron concluded, “is a filthy habit which I don’t support, and neither, I believe, does ‘Avatar.’ ”
Well said Mr. Cameron. I would understand SceneSmoking.org’s frustration if, for example, the main characters from Twilight were seen smoking in a few scenes as lots of young teenage girls watch those movies and they would probably think it was cool. We’d have thousands of young girls sucking on a cigarette like it was Robert Pattinson’s…