Native American cast leaves Adam Sandler flick: ‘Nothing has changed — we’re still just Hollywood Indians’
About a dozen Native American actors and actresses walked off the set of a new Adam Sandler film because they were offended by the script’s insulting view of Apaches and their culture.
The mostly Navajo actors and a Native American cultural advisor for the film, “The Ridiculous Six,” said the satirical western repeatedly insulted women – who are depicted squatting and smoking a peace pipe while urinating, reported Indian Country.
“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this, and I wasn’t down for it,” said actor Loren Anthony, also the lead singer of the heavy metal band Bloodline. “Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist — so I agreed to it, but on Monday things started getting weird on the set.”
The movie, a spoof of the film “The Magnificent Seven” written by Sandler and longtime collaborator Tim Herlihy, also stars Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz, and Vanilla Ice.
Anthony told the website that the film’s producers assured him Native Americans would be portrayed accurately and respectfully, but he said the Apache costumes looked more like Comanche.
“One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s Breath,” he said. “One character says, ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath’ – and the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?'”
Actress Allison Young said the producers urged them to leave if they were that sensitive – so they did.
“Nothing has changed,” she said. “We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
Actor and Native American activist David Hill said the producers called them back after the walkout, and he’s hopeful they may listen to their concerns.
“We understand this is a comedy, we understand this is humor, but we won’t tolerate disrespect,” Hill said. “I told the director if he had talked to a native woman the way they were talked to in this movie – I said I would knock his ass out.”
“This isn’t my first rodeo,” he added. “If someone doesn’t speak up, no one will.”