The language you used in Dark Winds related to Nakai’s scars – being dragged across asphalt and half face – are the exact words people have used to bully some of us.
To The Makers of Dark Winds,
We – members the facial difference community – are deeply disappointed and offended by your choice to include a villainous character, Frank Nakai, with scars in Dark Winds. You have perpetuated a cliched trope that facial scars symbolize malevolence in fictional characters. Mass media has taught the public that these scars embody evil – implying that those with scars are somehow morally deficient or corrupt.
Those of us with facial differences and our allies are tired of it. Indeed, the bullying we face because of our scars and other facial differences confirms this. In fact, the language you used in Dark Winds related to Nakai’s scars – being dragged across asphalt and half face – are the exact words people have used to bully some of us. You have directly hurt us, while conveying to the rest of the world that we are villainous.
As a show that seeks to represent a historically marginalized group – Native Americans – we would have hoped that you would not have fallen into this familiar trope. There are hundreds of negative representations of people with facial differences, but so few that show us as whole and multifaceted human beings. Please consider being an ally for those who look different, focusing on the actions of individuals, rather than how they look.
Written by Jenny Kattlove
With the support of:
Phyllida Swift, on behalf of Face Equality International
All members of Face Equality International – Lived Experience Working Group
Barbara-Anne Hodge, Representative of Mamingwey Burn Society Inc
Charlene Pell, on behalf of Future Faces
Jennifer Wallace, Founder and CEO Thunderbolt Forge Films
Kim Teems-Fox, President, FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
Michael Cook, Chair, Canadian Burn Survivors Community
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