Native American actors, upset by what they felt was stereotyping, walked off the set of Adam Sandler‘s western parody, “The Ridiculous Six.”
The movie, a straight to Netflix parody of the classic “The Magnificent Seven,” was filming in Las Vegas, New Mexico Thursday when the incident occurred.
According to Indian Country Today, about a dozen Native American actors and actresses along with a cultural advisor walked off the set.
Actor Loren Anthony told Indian Country Today that he understands the film is a comedy, but the incorrect portrayal of the Apache and demeaning insults towards Native American women were enough for him to quit.
“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 website. “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?'”
“When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
Former Dartmouth film student Allison Young, also a Native American, echoed Anthony’s comments.
“When I began doing this film, I had an uneasy feeling inside of me and I felt so conflicted,” Young said. “I talked to a former instructor at Dartmouth and he told me to take this as finally experiencing stereotyping first hand. 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.”
A spokesperson for Netflix released a statement to entertainment website vulture.com.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” they said. “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.”
Apparently Loren Anthony didn’t always feel so strongly about the stereotypes in the films as evidenced by his Instagram postings.
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