Native Americans Dispel Stereotypes in Response to Adam Sandler Movie
The actors who walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie in April to protest its portrayal of Apache culture are back on screen together for a new project, but this time, they’re telling their stories. In a nearly three-minute video shot in New Mexico and released this week, four Native American actors who ditched Sandler’s production speak about their pride in their heritage, the importance of positive representation, and why they want to set a good example for the next generation.
The clip coincides with the Friday release of The Ridiculous 6, Sandler’s Netflix-produced Western that drew production boycotts because of what many actors saw as offensive, outdated stereotypes: characters named Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, and cartoonish images of peace pipes, teepees, and feathers. In a statement to TakePart at the time of the protests, Netflix defended the movie, writing that it’s “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.”
“I liked the direction he was going in—that this wouldn’t be a video attacking or protesting against Adam Sandler, but rather a video that educates, informs, and asks others to please respect our culture and our dignity,” Young wrote in an email to TakePart. “We felt that it was important to voice our heartfelt concerns and that we are doing this for our Native American youth and future generations of Native Peoples, who are still trying to overcome hundreds of years of marginalization.”