Adam Sandler and Happy Madison are currently shooting a Magnificent Seven spoof called The Ridiculous Six for Netflix, starring Nick Nolte and Vanilla Ice, among others, and it’s going about how you would expect. About a dozen Native American actors, including the culture advisor, walked off the set yesterday in protest to jokes they thought were offensive, according to Indian Country Today.
The examples of disrespect included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.
And yet Drew Barrymore was totally cool with pretending to puke French onion soup. Advantage: Native Americans.
Among the actors who walked off the set were Navajo Nation tribal members Loren Anthony [pictured above, in foreground, below, with Nick Nolte], 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.
Little did he know the “cultural consultant” was actually Adam Sandler’s high school buddy, Beaner. Beaner’s actually Albanian, but he used to date an Asian chick.
Anthony says he was first insulted that the movie costumes that were supposed to portray Apache were significantly incorrect and that the jokes seemed to get progressively worse.
“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 said. “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?'”
Quiz: Do you think that was a lesbian joke or a joke about how Native Americans are stinky? Either way, high-larious.
“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.” […]
Goldie Tom also shared her frustrations with ICTMN. “I felt this was all really disrespectful,” she said. “Our costumes did not portray Apache people. The consultant, Bruce spoke to the crew and told them we should not have braids and chokers and he was very disappointed. He asked to speak with Adam Sandler. We talked to the producers about other things in the script and they said ‘It’s in the script and we are not going to change it.’ Overall, we were just treated disrespectfully, the spoke down to us and treated everyone with strong tones. [ICTMN]
It’s pretty bad when in the midst of insulting their breath and boobs you can’t even get the costumes right. It’s like calling someone the wrong racial slur.
Meanwhile, Netflix has issued a response to TMZ:
Netflix is defending the Sandler flick, saying it’s all a joke. A Netflix rep tells TMZ, “The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous.” The rep says it’s intended to be a satire of Westerns and the stereotypes popularized in the genre.
The rep adds … the diverse cast “is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”
“They’re totally in on it! Them storming off the set and going to media like this? It’s just this thing we do. It’s our little inside joke. ‘Pale face not understand,’ ha ha ha! Anyway, we had a pow wow and threw ’em some fire water and everything’s cool now.”
In related news, I’m currently pitching Happy Madison my script for Let’s Be Cultural Advisors, about two bros who pose as Native American cultural advisors, starring Kevin Hart and Nikki Six.