Native American actors have walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie that they say insults their culture.
Most of the dozen Native American actors who walked off Wednesday were from the Navajo nation, the Indian Country Today Media Network reported. They said that the script for The Ridiculous Six, an apparent spoof of the classic Western The Magnificent Seven, insults native women and elders, as well as Apaches. Here’s more:
“The examples of disrespect included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.”
Loren Anthony, one of the actors who left the set, told the Indian media network that he had initially refused to do the film, but then agreed to do it when he was told the producers had hired a cultural consultant. But, he said, “on Monday things started getting weird on the set.” He said costumes for Apache were incorrect and the jokes got worse.
“We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche,” he told the Indian network. “One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s Breath. One character says ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath.’ And the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?'”
“They just treated us as if we should just be on the side. When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
The movie, written by comedian Sandler and Tim Herlihy, will star Sandler, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice. It is scheduled for release on the streaming service Netflix.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” Netflix said in a statement to Deadline.com. “It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”