Adam Sandler‘s Ridiculous Six, a comedy satirizing The Magnificent Seven (but with no relation to Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight, unfortunately), has been making the news rounds since last week. Why? Because a dozen Native American actors and the film’s cultural adviser walked off the set in protest of some jokes that were written in poor taste. The ethically-insensitive rift sparked a media firestorm that included, among other things, a spirited defense from one of the film’s stars: Vanilla Ice.
Most have focused on the jokes themselves, but no one really gave the other aspects of the production any additional oversight… until now. In the above interview with MSNBC, actress Allison Young talked about how the film’s makeup crew “bronzed” her, despite her being “full-blooded Navajo.”
Meanwhile, a source confirmed Young’s claims with THR and then some:
According to an on-set pro, members of the makeup team have been darkening actors of various ethnicities (including black and Asian talent) to make them appear Native American.
Filmmakers obviously want to achieve a certain look with their movies, and depending on the story, sometimes this requires making significant changes to their performers via makeup, prosthetics, and CGI. (James Spader wasn’t expected to enshroud himself in metal casing for Avengers: Age of Ultron, so Marvel went the effects route.) So, if Sandler and Happy Madison want to make a Western, they’ll need to make their people look like they’re in a Western.
But when your vision requires modifying people who already fit the cast description, then you’re probably wrong. Like, horribly-racist-wrong.
I’m still waiting for the academic community to announce its literary conference in protest of Ice’s casting as Mark Twain.