Nine Native American actors have walked off the film set of a new Adam Sandler comedy “The Ridiculous Six”, claiming the film is "totally disrespectful" of Apache culture. Actor Loren Anthony said producers ignored their concerns about the film's approach to Native American culture and the inappropriate use of props. "Right from the get-go, it didn't feel right. But we let it go," the Navajo actor told the Associated Press. "Once we found out more about the script, we felt it was totally disrespectful to elders and Native women."
Issues included offensive names for Native American women, such as Beaver's Breath and No Bra, and a scene which showed a Native American urinating while smoking a peace pipe. Another actor, Goldie Tom, said producers on the New Mexico set told actors to leave if they were offended. "This just shows that Hollywood has not changed at all," said Tom, referring to long-held issues between the Native American community and the US film industry. "Nothing has changed," echoed Navajo actress Allison Young, "We are still just Hollywood Indians." The group also protested about the use of non-Native Americans in Native American roles and other alleged inaccuracies. A Native American consultant on the film also walked out.
Netflix, which commissioned the film, said it was a "broad satire" intended to send up stereotypes. "The movie has 'ridiculous' in the title for a reason: Because it is ridiculous," a Netflix statement said. "It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularised, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of - but in on - the joke."
"Our Native American culture and tradition is no joking matter,'' said outgoing Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly. "I applaud these Navajo actors for their courage and conviction to walk off the set in protest.'" David Hill, one of the actors who walked off the production, said "Our dignity is not for sale."