New hit Avatar: The Last Airbender is caught up in 'woke' row as ... trends now

New hit Avatar: The Last Airbender is caught up in 'woke' row as ... trends now
New Netflix hit Avatar: The Last Airbender is caught up in 'woke' row as ... trends now

New Netflix hit Avatar: The Last Airbender is caught up in 'woke' row as ... trends now

Netflix's new fantasy epic Avatar: The Last Airbender has been caught up in a 'woke' row after film chiefs toned down 'iffy' sexism in the live action remake of the beloved cartoon classic.

All eight episodes of the show, which reportedly cost more than £94million to make, dropped on the streaming giant today, sending fans of the original 2005 animated series into a frenzy.

It stars Gordon Cormier as 12-year-old Aang, the current Avatar and last survivor of his race, as he learns to master his mythical powers to control the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air) and tries to save the world from the genocidal Fire Nation.

However, Avatar's latest reimagining – the second since the critically-panned 2010 flop by Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan - has stirred up controversy among die-hard fans after it was suggested the traits of one of the cult classic's most beloved characters had been ditched for Gen Z audiences.

In particular, they singled out how the boomerang throwing hot-head Sokka (Ian Ousley) - who was branded 'sexist' in the original for joking that 'guys are better at hunting and fighting' while 'girls are better at fixing pants' - had been toned down.

The remake stars Gordon Cormier (pictured) as 12-year-old Aang, the current Avatar and last survivor of his race, as he learns to master his mythical powers to control the four elements

The remake stars Gordon Cormier (pictured) as 12-year-old Aang, the current Avatar and last survivor of his race, as he learns to master his mythical powers to control the four elements

But the show has faced controversy for toning down the 'sexist' jokes cracked by beloved character Sokka (Ian Ousley) in the original for the new remake

But the show has faced controversy for toning down the 'sexist' jokes cracked by beloved character Sokka (Ian Ousley) in the original for the new remake 

Speaking about the shift to Entertainment Weekly, Kiawentiio Tarbell (left)– who plays Sokka's 'waterbending' sister Katara - said some of the comments in the original show were 'iffy'

Speaking about the shift to Entertainment Weekly, Kiawentiio Tarbell (left)– who plays Sokka's 'waterbending' sister Katara - said some of the comments in the original show were 'iffy'

Speaking about the shift to Entertainment Weekly, Kiawentiio Tarbell – who plays Sokka's 'waterbending' sister Katara – said: 'I feel like we also took out the element of how sexist [Sokka] was. I feel like there were a lot of moments in the original show that were iffy.'

Some fans were left concerned over the suggestion of Sokka's problematic comments had been dumped, arguing they were key to how his character's development, which sees him shed his 'sexist, misogynistic views' as he matures.

The latest iteration of Aang's adventure has been met with a mixed reception from critics.

The Guardian's Jack Seale celebrated the show as a 'sparkling return for one of the greatest fantasy series of all time', giving it an impressive four out of five stars.

Praising the young cast for their take on the characters, Seale wrote: 'Ousley and Kiawentiio strike up a nicely spiky sibling relationship as Sokka and Katara, while Cormier gives Aang the right mix of boyish cheek and inherent authority,' adding the Airbender franchise had 'confidently revived itself'.

The Hollywood Reporter was less gushing in its review, however, branding the remake as a 'major letdown', plagued by a 'clunky writing' and 'awkward performances'.

The series previously sparked a fierce online backlash following the release its trailer in January,

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