This is an Adam Sandler comedy. Everything is mocked. Everyone is made to look foolish. Satire is not disrespect. It is not personal. Wanting an exemption from satire is a call for supremacy, not respect.
Offended by satire, incorrect costuming, and inappropriate feather placement, a group of about a dozen American Indian actors walked off the set of an Adam Sandler comedy Wednesday, according to a report in Indian Country. Apparently, the actors were shocked to learn that Indians would not be inoculated from satire in the “Ridiculous Six” Western spoof, and that a comedy film wasn’t terribly interested in historical accuracy.
Things came to a head when one of the producers told one of the actors, “If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.” [emphasis added]
Approximately a dozen Native actors and actresses, as well as the Native cultural advisor, left the set of Adam Sandler’s newest film production, The Ridiculous Six, on Wednesday. The actors, who were primarily from the Navajo nation, left the set after the satirical western’s script repeatedly insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.
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.
“When I began doing this film, I had an uneasy feeling inside of me and I felt so conflicted,” she said. “I talked to a former instructor at Dartmouth and he told me to take this as finally experiencing stereotyping first hand. We talked to the producers about our concerns. They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.‘ I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. I didn’t want to cry but the feeling just came over me.”