Adam Sandler's Film Loses Native American Actors Due To Allegedly Insulting Material — REPORT
According to a report, an estimated dozen Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler's film, The Ridiculous Six, on Wednesday. Why? Allegedly, the material was insulting towards Native Americans and women. CNN recounts from the Indian Country Today Media Network report, "The script called for native women's names such as 'Beaver's Breath' and 'No Bra' and an actress portraying an Apache woman to squat and urinate while smoking a peace pipe."
Netflix issued a statement about the controversy that defends the film while not denying content of the film that's been reported in the Indian Country Today Media Network article. "The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous. 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," the statement read. However, Choctaw actor David Hill stated, "[The producers] were being disrespectful. They were bringing up those same old arguments that Dan Snyder uses in defending the [Washington] Redskins. But let me tell you, our dignity is not for sale."
As movie fans know, Sandler is the same actor who has starred in such controversial films like as I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (which amped up stereotypes of the LGBT community to a horrifying degree) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (which used Middle Eastern stereotypes to make a point about bringing peace to the Middle East — or something). Not to mention Blended, a film that was criticized for its "quasi-zoological depiction of Africans as servile, dancing, drum-playing simpletons" by New York Times critic A. O. Scott.
So it's not too surprising to imagine Sandler's next film plays with stereotypes like his previous movies had. But it's also not surprising that Native American actors might take offense to that alleged stereotyping. I see the good in what Sandler was trying to do with The Ridiculous Six. After all, he didn't have to cast actual Native American actors in the movie; Hollywood whitewashing is both notorious and yet commonly accepted in that way. But if it's true that a dozen Native American actors reportedly walked off the set? Well, then that would be proof that perhaps Sandler should have consulted those actors on the material, if he hadn't already.
But according to another Native American actor, Allison Young, any concerns the cast had simply went unheeded. "We talked to the producers about our concerns. They just told us, 'If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.' I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. I didn’t want to cry but the feeling just came over me. This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way. Nothing has changed. We are still just Hollywood Indians."
Bustle reached out to Sandler for a comment, but have yet to receive a response.
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