When their protests about racist jokes were ignored, Native American actors allegedly walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s Netflix comedy The Ridiculous Six.
Adam Sandler is currently filming a comedy for Netflix, titled The Ridiculous Six. The movie is a riff on the classic Western The Magnificent Seven, which saw a group of cowboys band together to save a Mexican village.
According to reports from Indian Country Today, the project ran into some controversy this week, when about a dozen Native American actors walked off the set, protesting racially charged and misogynist jokes, and inaccuracies in its portrayal of Apache culture.
Loren Anthony, one of the actors who decided to quit the project, explained, “They just treated us as if we should just be on the side. When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
In the movie, female Native American characters are given offensive names like “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra,” and there was apparently no effort made to make the costumes look Apachean. “They looked more like Comanche,” Anthony said.
When some of the actors tried to speak to the producers about their concerns, they were allegedly brushed off. “They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave,'” actress Allison Young told ICTMN.
“I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. […] This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way,” she said. “[But] nothing has changed. We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
Netflix has issued a statement regarding this issue, in an attempt to downplay the situation.
“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,” a spokesperson for the streaming site said Thursday.
The Ridiculous Six is written by Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler, and directed by Frank Coraci. It stars Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Will Forte, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Rob Schneider, and Vanilla Ice. The movie is scheduled to be released next year.