Fantasy or Reality: Bringing Avatar Back to Earth

Science-fiction movies take people to an exciting imaginary reality, but they can also take people out of Hollywood and into the courtroom. Costing an estimated $237 million to produce, and $150 million to market, Avatar is currently one of the most expensive movies ever made. However, the success of this blockbuster is marred by allegations that it contains racist themes. Commentators have noted that Avatar perpetuates “the white Messiah fable” where a white hero saves primitive natives. It is further alleged that the film is a metaphor for how European settlers in America wiped out Native Americans. Adding to the racial theme of the movie is the fact that the main Na’vi “primitive” characters are played by actors of color, such as the Dominican actress, Zoe Saldana, who plays the role of princess. MSNBC Article.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from refusing to hire or to discharge an individual based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Additionally, an employer is prohibited from limiting, segregating, or classifying its employees in any way which would adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Under an action for racial discrimination by an employer, the complainant has the initial burden of establishing:

  1. That he belongs to a racial minority;
  2. That he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants;
  3. That, despite his qualifications he was rejected; and
  4. That, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of complainant’s qualifications. Once this prima facie case is established, the burden then shifts to the employer to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory and objective reason for the employee’s rejection.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C. is a New York Law firm that has handled many employment discrimination cases including actions based on age, race, disability, gender, religion, national origin and sexual orientation. Leeds Brown Law, P.C. attorneys have experience litigating based on the provisions set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. If you or someone you know is seeking relief for discrimination in the workplace please contact, Leeds Brown Law, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.

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