Indian actors walk off set of Adam Sandler movie

loren-anthony-adam-sandler

About a dozen Indian actors walked off the set of the Ridiculous Six the latest Adam Sandler movie claiming the script is insulting to Native culture and features unnecessary and degrading stereotypes.

Indian Country Today Media Network reported that the actors, primarily of the Navajo Nation, objected to insulting names for some of the characters such as “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra”, along with depictions of an Apache woman urinating while smoking a peace pipe and other sundry examples of general insensitivity.

An unnamed spokesperson for Netflix, which is producing the comedy told Deadline that such depictions are in alignment with the tone of the film, which plays upon absurdity in order to spoof tropes seen in American Westerns.

“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” the spokesperson told Deadline on Thursday. “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.”

However, the actors said that despite the film’s comedic intentions, the script is still overly reliant on Indian stereotypes and degrades Native culture.

“We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche,” Loren Anthony, a member of the Navajo Nation, told ICTMN.

The Lakota People’s Law Project believes this offensive production should be shut down immediately. Satire is an effective tool in any society, to show irreverence for official institutions that deserve to be lampooned as a means of questioning the high esteem that general society holds a given institution or person.

However, satire is not and should not be used to degrade a culture and way of life that has already been marginalized through centuries of abuse, neglect and genocidal tendencies.

American cultural elites such as Adam Sandler should use their considerable celebrity to further the conversation about how Indian people are treated in the United States.

They should not attempt to further enrich themselves while simultaneously degrading a culture and a people for which they apparently have little understanding or empathy.

How do these crude depictions of Indians help move forward the conversation about the stain on the American soul that continues to persist to the present day?

To make light of this ugly aspect of American life is reprehensible.

Furthermore, stereotypical depictions of Natives, including the use of them as mascots, is disrespectful to the Indigenous population of this nation. We must as a people learn to treat the Indian nation with the dignity they deserve.

If people or institutions are behaving in a sanctimonious or self-important manner, than satire is a valuable tool to bring a modicum of self-awareness to those entities.

But making fun of the marginalized, the trodden-upon, the degraded and the victims of widespread systemic injustice isn’t funny. It’s sad.

Lakota People’s Law Project calls upon Netflix to either ensure their production encompasses an appropriate degree of cultural sensitivity or end production immediately.

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51 thoughts on “Indian actors walk off set of Adam Sandler movie”

    1. I feel that this degrading action of the Native American’s is unnecessary and blocks the truth of our people. There more people such as my college advisor and an elder with much wisdom who highly respect and love, which I call him uncle. My uncle is a non native but has very love and compassion towards our people. Before there is total unity, people should try to understand the beauty of our Native Americans ways. When the total stereotyping ends, then the scared hoop in harmonty. Our earth mother loves us all, do you think we should start being loving instead of being hateful

    1. Why does everyone have to live in the past. No one alive today had anything to do with what happened many Years ago. It is the same with slavery. Everyone that lives in the USA has the same availability of improving their life. If you are not happy with how your life is then change it. Has nothing to do with color, race, nationality, has to do with content of character, backbone, will, the want for a better/different life. If you can’t get it where you are, then move. Anybody that has ever had anything has had to work for it. Nothing is free, nobody owes anyone anything. If you want something, its up to you to get it. People sitting on their butt, drawing money, think that someone owes them because of something that happened 2 hundred years ago? It’s BS!

      1. you are joking right??… You can not truly believe that. A genocide bigger than the Jews and you believe they make excuses? Their entire way off life has been torn apart and stomped on, it has been taken from continuously time and time again– from the government. They are asking for nothing more than what is rightfully theirs! You don’t like it go back to Europe or whether you came from. Go on get out of here and leave the natives alone. Ignorant

      2. Pam. Do research. Pay attention to what is going on. You seem to have blockage in that brain of yours. That same train of thought you expressed here is the same train of thought that keeps oppressing the very few that still exist. They have been the worst treated and still to this day their lands become less and less available, the water is becoming less and less available. Contaminated by the same system you so proudly support. Are you asking they mold themselves into a culture that completely disregards the sanctity of life? To sell out their culture? To this day their treaties with the US are still being broken, their kids get taken away. Their culture and ways of life are still being interfered with and threatened. You think they are living in the past when they are very much in the now and trying to preserve their land and waters their culture more importantly their families. Trying to rebuild. How ignorant can you be to say “Stop living in the past”? TELLING people who rightfully own this country to move is very much what your forefathers may have said. So no. Its not the past. You’ve proven that the same behavior that existed then still exists now. You are living proof of that. These people are asking for respect not your money or your help.
        One thing you’ve said may be correct. “If you want something, its up to you to get it.” Taking back and gaining the respect they deserve is “something” worth speaking of out loud and publicly and to peacefully fight for. Since you haven’t noticed, that is exactly what they are doing.
        Now, I doubt you read the article and I also doubt your ability to understand what is going on. You should take down your insensitive, hateful comment. If you didn’t like what you read. You should have kept out of it. No one wants to hear your shit spewing. May be you should go back to where your family is originally from and save the rest of us from any further grief.

      3. I’m sorry but Native Americans don’t really have a right to anything. Their land was taken from them and they still do not own their land. They live on reservations that are poverty stricken and have high suicidal rates. They can’t really move on. Before you spout know your facts for today. They Can Leave THE Reservations But Chances Of Survival Beyond That Point Is NOT given. African Americans have more rights in the USA today than Native Americans have had in the centuries since the English came to colonize. Not to mention the many who were wrongfully raped and murdered in the process. Think before you speak. End rant.

      4. (1) Everyone who lives in the U.S. does NOT have the same opportunity to climb the prosperity ladder. (2) Moving is not free; in fact, it can be very expensive. (3) In order for people to work, there must be available jobs paying a living wage. (4) History greatly impacts the present; we don’t get to ignore it to make ourselves feel better about our failure to address many of the problems found in impoverished areas, including “reservations.”

      5. Excuse me here lady but who are YOU to make such comments like THAT?! DO YOU KNOW how profound of a problem racism against Native People is?!? It STILL goes on to this day and nothing ever gets done about it! Yet PEOPLE LIKE YOU have nothing better to say about this. Racist people like you really do need help! You must be with some white supremest group or something!

      6. Are you crazy it is not that anyone owes us anything. It’s that people still disrespect us after all these years. We helped the settlers when they first landed here in this world.What did they do to us in return they brought plagues, disease and took our people raped them killed them and then took our land. How are we in the wrong for wanting the respect we deserve. The government does still to this day listen to us. All we want is to be heard.

      7. Ashli. Don’t get too excited now. First of all, if you will go “go back to where you came from” route, know that native americans, who reside on the territory of the United States weren’t born here. They migrated from South America, Canada and mostly Asia. Even if it was a long time ago, that’s still the case, since you’re also bringing up events from a long time ago. So, before you start trying to claim this land as your own, maybe learn a little more than just what you were brainwashed with when you were a child.
        Second: As far as genocide is concerned, Jews have been hated, raped and murdered since the beginning of time. During the actual holocaust, which is what you’re probably referring to, they were kicred out of their homes, gathered and told that they were being relocated. They didn’t have time or ability to arm and defend themselves before they were stamped, taken to camps like cattle, tortured, raped, burned and burried alive, put in gas chambers, etc.. did you know that a lot more of native americans died from diseases, than killed?
        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying what happened here. Nothing excuses the events of that war. However, that was a long time ago. It’s time to move on and make this country your own. How long can you dwell on something that happened a long time ago? Scotts were murdered by the English for hundreds of years, I don’t see them always complaining, collecting free money and living the way of their old life. They work and enjoy life. If English really wanted to they could’ve killed every Scott. As soon as you realize that the USA is your land if you let it be and stop bitching abut the past, you’ll have a better life, but if all you do is complain about the past, and what happened, and what if, and what could havery been – life will suck.

      8. Pam Johnson, It NEVER ceases to amaze me that we still live among the totally ignorant and mis- and/or un-informed. Yes, I do mean you, Pammy.

      9. I have worked hard all my life and so has my family we don’t expect anything handed to us and that is not even the point here. It’s about respect not degrading someone for who they are respect our elders respect for who we are Americans

      10. You have all the sensitivity of a dead rat. BS is what you’re spouting. If you think everybody has an equal chance of advancing, you obviously haven’t taken the lesson of Mitt Romney or the Kochs very seriously. You haven’t paid attention to what is going on in the poor areas of our cities or the reservations which fight serious uphill battles just to survive. As far as I can tell, you’re a privileged white male with a total lack of empathy.

  1. I’m glad that the Native Americans stood up for themselves. We should all stand with them. I know I won’t watch this movie if it does make it to completion

  2. Just another Hollywood elite who thinks he can make fun of who he wants and the people have to take it because he is famous! I for one will boycott the movie if it ever comes out!

  3. I’m glad they walked off! There is no excuse for those names or anything that degrades them! Should Adam Sandler stay on production and does nothing to fix this, even if it means he has to walk off the film and eat the contract, then he means nothing! No cajones.

  4. That is not funny for any culture to be depicted in that way. We do not urinate on ourselves that is why we invited the toilet centuries ago. We are not ignorant; they knew the movie was a satire. However, nothing you wanted them to do was funny. They could have made a funny about fry bread or something of the sort not making us look stupid and ignorant. Too many Native women have been raped and killed to be depicted as being funny cause they do or don’t wear a bra. Adam Sandler is one of my favorite actors. I am hurt.

  5. Zaljubljena sam u Boziji narod,volim istoriju i sve shto je u vezi sa indijanskim narodom.Imam prijetelje iz Juzne Amerike,volim sve mnogo!

  6. I agree totally with the position of the Navaho Nation. It would be one thing if they were making the movie about themselves but Adam Sandler should know better than to denigrate the Native Americans in any way. This is so sad after all the good news that has been appearing in the Lakota Law Project Report. Blessings to all.

  7. as a lokota i agree with the actors dicesion and the lakota law project report.poeple who are not native should learn about the history of a genicidal goverment that wanted to eradicate a natoin of poeple who were here before the white man or any other so called discovers.

    1. If the government had wanted to “eradicate” your nation of people, believe me it would have been eradicated, instead it has spent trillions of dollars on endless Native Indian welfare.

      1. Nonsense. If “trillions” of dollars had been spent on welfare programs for the First Nations, they would not be living in the most abject poverty in the U.S.

      2. Kathryn, they live in abject poverty because they refuse to even plant a garden on their land (not their “way” of life), they don’t get jobs they just live on the money given to them by the taxpayer’s. Yes and it has been ‘TRILLIONS” given to them since the 1800’s

      3. Kathy Heatherly, Did you marry a Native American who previously hurt you in some way? Do feel cheated because “they” have somehow taken away the welfare you get? Please explain your dire hatred, it makes no sense.

  8. This country is a melting pot of people from all over the world. The Indians have refused to assimilate and participate in the “melting pot”: because they want to keep their bloodlines pure (they get more from the government that way). This is in itself racism. The other peoples do not whine and endlessly complain about the thousands of settlers killed, raped, tortured and scalped during the settling of this country. The American Indians need to get over themselves, their “way” of life is gone forever just as ours was in the 1800’s. You either educate yourselves and contribute to the economy or be in poverty forever, it is your choice.

    1. They were here first. If anyone should have assimilated, it should have been the European settlers. I’m afraid you need to take your own advice about educating oneself.

    2. I simply cannot comprehend the absolute ignorance of your post. Perhaps a post high school education and real study on the subject matter might help you understand, but won’t help your gross misstatements.

    3. “Assimilate”, yes, that’s the word and I am glad you brought it up Kathy E Heatherly. So let me ask you a question, what would you say if Mexican immigrants ask you to assimilate into their culture? Don’t bother, I know the answer, you wil throw a tantrum, you will demand more border patrol agents, you will demand that those hispanics get kicked out of the country. Because you don’t want your white supremacist culture assimilate into what you call inferior cultures.

      And that’s where your hypocrisy begins, you demand that Native Americans assimilate into your so called white supremacist culture. But you have no right to demand anything, you are an immigrant, just like the people from Mexico and other Latin countries. As a matter of fact, Hispanics have more rights than you, because many of them are of Native American descent. So I’d advise you to think twice before you post nonsense about assimilation.

  9. Why is it that its refered to as “native american” land?? Did the “native american” build this land?? Who was here before them?? Wouldn’t it be their land?? I was born here in america, so as far as I’m concerned, I am a native american… I am from here.. It is much as my land…home as anyone else’s.. Quit your blubbering..

  10. To each of you who have no tolerance for anyone’s opinions but your own, I have done research, lots. I also am Native American and far from ignorant which apparently is more than I can say for you. You want “Native American’s” to have respect, the land that belongs to them before someone took it from them, you don’t want anyone making fun of them or calling them name names and you want me to go back from where I came from.
    You should not get so upset by other peoples opinions. We all should be allowed to voice them.

    1. Pam Johnson, you are Native? If that’s true, then you are even worse than the white racists who come here to post insults. You are betraying your own people.

      But then, I don’t think you’re Native, the way you talk about Natives makes me believe that you’re one of those funny white supremacists running about all dressed up in white bed sheets and pointy hoods. I would suggest you take off that silly white hood, it might clear your view on the world.

  11. while i, personally, agree with the actors who walked off set, i can’t help but wonder who these people are that they got involved with an Adam Sandler movie and didn’t realize it would be offensive, degrading, and probably poke fun at their race.

  12. 1. I for one, think that Adam Sandler was wrong. He is one of my favorite actors, and I am shocked and stunned that he would try to pull a stunt like this. 2. I am also shocked and stunned about the blatant racism in all the comments. If its not racism against Natives, its racism against whites. This is not a race war, this is a stupid movie… Does that make sense? I have Cherokee blood. I also have German blood. Does that make one “side” of my descent better than any other? No. To those that think “the past is the past” obviously cannot grasp the horrors that were done. It is our duty, ALL of us, to prevent things like that from happening again, and to remember. It is our duty, ALL of us, no matter where we come from, to work together to make OUR world a better place. Isn’t that the way it should be?

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