Earlier this week, at least a dozen Native Americans who had been hired as extras walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s newest production, a Netflix-only film titled Ridiculous 6, citing overt racism as the reason.
The movie is a comedy meant to mock the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven — a movie about a group of seven men hired to protect a Mexican village from Native American attacks. In an interview with MSNBC, one of the actresses, Allie Young, said the group as a whole found the script to be offensive and disrespectful to all Native American cultures.
The biggest issue with the script, however, is that they feel it simply celebrated extremely outdated stereotypes that have continued to abound in Hollywood portrayals. When asked to clarify, Young explained that the makeup crew felt the need to bronze her skin so she would appear darker. This means that the production crew felt that, even as a full-blooded Native American, she was too light-skinned to be playing a Native American.
Other factors, including horribly offensive names like “No Bra” and “Beaver Breath,” offensive depictions of religious scenes and offensive portrayals of Native American women in general all factored into the actors walking out. In her interview, Young also divulged that the film’s cultural consultant was actually the first person to leave the production due to how offensive it really is.
Netflix, however, is defending Sandler and their decision to continue with filming. The company claims that the movie is intended to portray these outrageous Western stereotypes and that the rest of the cast is alright with the script. Another actress, Goldie Tom, had this to say about it, “I don’t regret my decision to be in the movie, but after this experience, I’m reminded that we still have work to do.”