Face Equality International
IFEW

Open Letter – The impact of portraying villainous character, Frank Nakai with scars in TV series, Dark Winds.

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 

Read more of our blogs here.

Tags: , , , , Posted by

Open Letter – The impact of portraying villainous character, Frank Nakai with scars in TV series, Dark Winds.

Open letter written by Jenny Kattlove. Jenny’s open letter highlights the impact of portraying villainous character, Frank Nakai with scars in the TV series, Dark Winds.

Read More

Some Observations on Disfigurement and Discrimination Pt. II

Negotiating the external world and the psychosocial complexities that ebb and flow from living your life with a clear visible difference does become even more of a challenge. But if you can recognise this fact a pathway can be created and entered whereby you flip the switch. 

Read More

Hey Hollywood – Scars Don’t Make You Evil

Negotiating the external world and the psychosocial complexities that ebb and flow from living your life with a clear visible difference does become even more of a challenge. But if you can recognise this fact a pathway can be created and entered whereby you flip the switch. 

Read More