Adam Sandler movies have been hit-or-miss lately, but one of his latest productions, The Ridiculous 6, is off to a particularly inauspicious start. According to Indian Country Today, about a dozen Native American actors, as well as the movie’s Native American cultural adviser, walked off the set Wednesday because of the movie’s stereotypical representation of Apache culture, and the script’s offensive jokes at the expense of Native American women and elders.
From Indian Country Today:
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.
The costumes were also allegedly grossly inaccurate—rather than resembling the Apache culture they were meant to depict, Navajo actor Loren Anthony said they more closely resembled Comanche attire.
The Netflix movie, which will star Sandler, Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, and Vanilla Ice, among others, is reportedly meant to satirize The Magnificent Seven, a 1960s Western. Anthony noted his reluctance to join the film at first. His concerns were allayed only when he found out the movie had hired a cultural adviser and would be respectful of Native American culture.
Both Anthony and Allison Young, another Navajo cast member, told Indian Country Today the response they got from the director and producers was not what they’d hoped for.
“They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave,’ ” she told Indian Country Today. She added later, “Nothing has changed. We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
David Hill, a Choctaw member of the American Indian Movement who also walked off, noted the arguments used by the crew were the same Dan Snyder cited in defense of the Washington football team brand. “But let me tell you, our dignity is not for sale,” Hill told Indian Country Today. “It is a real shame because a lot of people probably stay because they need a job.”
Update, April 23, 2015, 5 p.m.: A representative for Netflix told Vulture, “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.”