What is Ian Ousley's ethnicity? Actor cast as Sokka in upcoming live-action Avatar series accused of lying about Cherokee heritage

Internet questions Ian Ousley's ethnicity (Image via ianlousley/Instagram)
Internet questions Ian Ousley's ethnicity (Image via ianlousley/Instagram)

Actor Ian Ousley is being accused by netizens of lying about his ethnicity to get the role of Sokka in Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. The 19-year-old was reportedly listed as an actor from the Cherokee tribe, which is being proven to be false by fans. People on Twitter are now demanding that Netflix look into the actor’s ethnicity.

Many fans who were doubtful about Ian Ousley’s ancestory dug into legal documents stating that he had not been listed as a member of the tribe. A quick Google search also showed that the 13 Reasons Why actor is Caucasian.

An Avatar: The Last Airbender fan account on Twitter, @7genvoices went through great lengths to confirm the actor's ethnicity. They told The Daily Dot that they began researching about Ousley’s ethnicity as they were sure the actor was lying.


Internet questions Ian Ousley’s ethnicity

The fan account verified his ethnicity by looking into the federal government's approved list of Cherokee tribes. This would include the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Cherokee Nation.

All three groups have confirmed that the actor is not a member of their tribe.

@7genvoices also posted a screenshot confirming that Ousley is part of the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky, which has not been recognized by the federal government. The same group has been deemed as a “fake tribe" by the fan account.

Reddit user Cheyguy7 also commented,

A Change.org petition has also been created to demand Netflix verify the actor’s claims of Cherokee heritage. At the time of writing this article, the petition had over 334 signatures.

As followers continued to question the actor’s ethnicity, Twitter user @avatarnews_ tweeted that Ousley’s friend Christabelle Marbun denied Ousley being white. Ousley and Marbun follow each other on Instagram.

Ian Ousley's friend defends his ethnicity (Image via @avatarnews_/Instagram)
Ian Ousley's friend defends his ethnicity (Image via @avatarnews_/Instagram)

Marbun commented under an Instagram post,

“He isn’t white, he’s my friend and he’s native and asian. Don’t believe what you see on the internet.”

As discussions about Ousley’s ethnicity continue online, neither Netflix nor the actor himself has responded.

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Edited by Sabika