YouTube critic and influencer Lindsay Ellis deleted her Twitter account on March 27 after backlash for her comments on Disney’s new animated movie: “Raya and the Last Dragon”. The movie features the title character, Raya, on a quest in a fantasy world inspired by Asian cultures. The object of her quest, according to the trailer, is to bring peace between warring nations by finding the world’s last dragon.
Ellis felt she detected some similarities between Disney’s movie and another popular franchise by a rival corporation.
According to later tweets from Ellis, she went to sleep after posting the tweet and woke up to find her notifications filled with outrage from Twitter users who apparently felt she made this comment for no reason other than the fact that both franchises are inspired by Asian culture.
Ellis, an active film critic of over a decade who earned her Masters of Fine Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, went on to say that “Avatar: The Last Airbender” inspired several young adult fantasy works over the past few years, and that several of the creators of these works even admit to drawing inspiration from the gAang. But Twitter users took issue with her “if you squint” comment in one of her tweets, believing it to be a racial joke.
Ellis ended up deleting her Twitter account as users were already in the process of digging up old tweets and comments and presenting them for community judgement.
While certainly liberal, as shown in her criticisms of J.K. Rowling, Ellis has occasionally been known to disagree with her own side, even to the point of criticizing a Disney movie, as seen in her review of the “Beauty and the Beast” remake. Ellis said her comparison of Raya ATLD with Avatar TLA were in no way a dig, but she has wondered publicly if her occasional contradictory reviews or opinions might get her cancelled one day, as seen in these tweets from April, 2019.
Well she didn’t get cancelled (yet), but the reaction did get her name trending.