On Wednesday (April 22), a group of Native American actors and actresses quit working on the set of Adam Sandler‘s upcoming western spoof, The Ridiculous Six. The dozen or so actors said they left the production after the script continually insulted Native American women and made a mockery of Apache culture.
The actors, who were mostly from the Navajo Nation, said much of the insults came in the form of insensitive names like Beaver’s Breath and No Bra. One of the actors who was hired as the Native American cultural advisor also left, reports Indian Country.
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The film, which is said to be a spoof of The Magnificent Seven and was written by Adam Sandler and his frequent collaborator Tim Herlihy, is currently under production by Happy Madison Productions for a Netflix-only release. The movie will star Adam Sandler, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice.
Among the actors who walked off the set were Navajo Nation tribal members Loren Anthony, who is also the lead singer of the metal band Bloodline, and film student Allison Young. Anthony says that though he understands the movie is a comedy, the portrayal of the Apache was severely negligent and the insults to women were more than enough reason to walk off the set.
“There were about a dozen of us who walked off the set,” said Anthony, who told ICTMN he had initially refused to do the movie. He then agreed to take the job when producers informed him they had hired a cultural consultant and efforts would be made for tasteful representation of Natives.
Anthony said he was assured that the film was a comedy and wouldn’t be racist, but said that things got “weird” soon after they began work on the film. Not only did Anthony say the outfits were all wrong, but that the jokes became even more tasteless as time went on.
Allison Young, a member of the Navajo nation, said that producers told the group that if they were so easily offended and “sensitive” that they were welcome to leave. Because it was billed as a comedy, Young also agreed to work on set but came to the same conclusion as Anthony.
“Nothing has changed,” said Young. “We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
Hit the following pages to see some of the images from Loren Anthony’s Instagram from the set of Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six.
Photo: Instagram/Loren Anthony