In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, cast members Kiawentiio, who plays Katara, and Ian Ousley who plays Sokka, were honest about one of the major differences between the live-action and animated versions. They revealed that Sokka’s sexist nature will not be a part of the latest iteration, which was a major character arc for him, as he learns how to not be sexist during the course of the original show.
“There’s more weight with realism in every way,” says Ousley.
Kiawentiio adds, “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.”
“Yeah, totally,” continues Ousley. “There are things that were redirected just because it might play a little differently [in live action].”
Following the pair’s comments, EW noted that fans have dedicated Reddit threads to Sokka’s sexism, “discussing how the original Sokka (prior to his character journey) would make remarks like ‘Girls are better at fixing pants than guys, and guys are better at hunting and fighting.’”
Now, X users are wondering how Sokka will be portrayed with that part of his character having been stripped. Other fans point to the fact that perhaps this is why “Avatar” creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino abruptly left the show after spending two years developing it, citing creative differences—that perhaps straying so far from the original storyline created a rift.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” debuts on Feb. 22 on Netflix. Check out some fans reactions below.
By doing this, they essentially destroy Avatar’s explicitly anti-sexist message
Sokka’s misogyny early on not only led to extraordinary character growth, but also made every subsequent female fighter seem even more impressive by contending in a world where sexism is so prevalent https://t.co/Y4kPoyQUGc pic.twitter.com/V8Kmk6WZAh
— 🎉❄️New Year, New Footstool❄️🎉 (@TheViewFromMyR1) January 30, 2024
What does it say about us culturally that a show that had morality tales written to be understandable for eight year olds is getting a remake aimed at those same eight year olds 20 years later that’s written to be *less* challenging https://t.co/eRB1ykjpAJ
— I don’t even own a lightsaber (@postbusters2k16) January 30, 2024
That….literally misses the point of his character arc that Suki helped him see why he was so wrong and humbled him and he was willing to swallow his pride and learn from her.
— Chipping Away The Backlog (@TheLadyGamer12) January 30, 2024
So what's his character arc now?
— Paul Leone (@paul_leone) January 29, 2024
This is part of a worrying trend in fiction where viewers/readers conflate flawed characters with their creators, and assume depicting something is to promote it. You can’t have a character arc without flaws and you can’t critique society without depicting flawed characters https://t.co/YT02bncBUf
— Moniza Hossain (@moniza_hossain) January 30, 2024
Sokka being humbled by a tribe of badass women was one the best early episodes
— Neo (@NeoWokio) January 30, 2024
I think there might have been a reason why in a show targeted at kids a 13-year-old boy goes from “girls are icky” to respecting his female companions https://t.co/L2zdCYoMzC
— vituperativeerb (@vituperativeerb) January 30, 2024
Reminder, that the creators of the OG Avatar series left this show due to creative differences….this explains a lot. https://t.co/gNqB5q5A9D
— Chris DeRose #NewDeal4Animation (@ScratchyDerose) January 30, 2024
This article was originally published on Complex.com.