Image source: instagram.com/lorenanthony
Actors Saginaw Grant and Loren Anthony on the set of 'Ridiculous Six.' Image source: instagram.com/lorenanthony

Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders

Vincent Schilling
4/23/15

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.

EXCLUSIVE: Read a Page From the Adam Sandler Script That Caused Native Actors to Quit

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.

Actor Loren Anthony stands next to a seated Adam Sandler on the set of 'Ridiculous Six.' Photo source: instagram.com/lorenanthony

The film, which is said to be a spoof of The Magnificent Seven and was written by Adam Sandler and his frequent collaborator Tim Herlihy, is currently under production by Happy Madison Productions for a Netflix-only release.  The movie will star Adam Sandler, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice. 

Among the actors who walked off the set were Navajo Nation tribal members Loren Anthony, 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.

Actor Loren Anthony gears up for a fight scene with Nick Nolte, who is visible over his shoulder, on the set of 'Ridiculous Six.' Photo source: Image source: instagram.com/lorenanthony

“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn't down for it. Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist. So I agreed to it but on Monday things started getting weird on the set,” he said.

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?'"

“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.”

"The producers just told us, 'If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.'" —Alison Young

Allison Young, Navajo, a former film student from Dartmouth, was also offended by the stereotypes portrayed and the outright disrespect paid to her and others by the director and producers.

"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. This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way.”

“Nothing has changed,” said Young. “We are still just Hollywood Indians.”

EXCLUSIVE: Video: Adam Sandler’s Producer To Native Actors: ‘Sensitive? You Can Leave’

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.”

74-year old David Hill, Choctaw, a member of the American Indian Movement, also left the set. "They were being disrespectful," he said. "They were bringing up those same old arguments that Dan Snyder uses in defending the Redskins. But let me tell you, our dignity is not for sale. It is a real shame because a lot of people probably stay because they need a job.”

Hill also mentioned that the producers called back the consultant as well as other native actors to their departure from the set on Wednesday.

“I hope they will listen to us," Hill said. "We understand this is a comedy, we understand this is humor, but we won’t tolerate disrespect. I told the director if he had talked to a native woman the way they were talked to in this movie—I said I would knock his ass out.”

“This isn’t my first rodeo, if someone doesn’t speak up, no one will.”

Neither Adam Sandler nor anyone for Happy Madison Productions responded to our attempts in reaching out to them for comment.

Follow ICTMN Correspondent Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter www.twitter.com/VinceSchilling

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sweetmystique's picture
sweetmystique
Submitted by sweetmystique on
" producers informed him they had hired a cultural consultant and efforts would be made for tasteful representation of Natives." This apparently is the only funny thing involving an Adam Sandler movie.

bookndngirl's picture
bookndngirl
Submitted by bookndngirl on
I received the sides to audition for the role of Beavers Breath. Although I understand Adam Sandler's humor, I just couldn't understand how this role/character was supposed to be funny. With that, my stand was to not even submit my audition.

toso mustaj's picture
toso mustaj
Submitted by toso mustaj on
There's no need to put up with crap like that. Publicize the hell out of the situation. Go to all media forms and protest.

Jetsy63's picture
Jetsy63
Submitted by Jetsy63 on
Sometimes one has to take a stand against racial stereotypes, disrespect and poor taste in these Hollywood productions. Comedy should not be an excuse to promote tasteless, demeaning portrayals of our women and elders. Kudos to those Navajo actors for taking a stand.

Kuklapolitan's picture
Kuklapolitan
Submitted by Kuklapolitan on
Thank-you for walking off this set. While the film may be a comedy, there is no reason to insult people on this level. It's high time Hollywood understood that you are not the "Cigar Store Indians" or the white men, painted red, acting in the westerns of the 1950's. You are a nation of proud people who should be depicted with fairness, accuracy and dignity.

Marci Goldade
Marci Goldade
Submitted by Marci Goldade on
Wish I could say I were surprised but I live in ND so I'm not. At all. How do you suggest I share my disgust with these undeservedly wealthy morons?

Kathleen Brosemer
Kathleen Brosemer
Submitted by Kathleen Brosemer on
I think it might be effective to start a letter writing campaign to talk Dan Aykroyd into leaving this production too. A big name would be noticed. And Dan has always impressed me as a person with integrity. I might be wrong but it might be worth a try. Anyone up for organizing this? I'd help but I don't know how to start.

biographco's picture
biographco
Submitted by biographco on
We have to chime in on this, since this directly affects us and our own film. The view of Native Americans in 'Hollywood' IS skewed, this needs to be changed and only by films that do not depict Native Americans as 'Werewolves', 'Vampires', 'Alcohol/Drug Addicts', or from 'Mars' (Yes a film like that was being touted). This is NOT a shameless 'Plug' but it is why on our own film 'Red Man's View' a remake of a 100 year old film, and one of the first PRO Native American films made, is so very important. Having great cast members, like; i.e. our friend Saginaw Grant, Rick Mora, Michael and Eddie Spears. Iit shows the true traditions, history, and 'HUMAN' aspect of Native Americans. This film is a cause, we are very proud to be a part of spurring a movement of REAL change in the film industry, and GOOD Native American films like it.

Sharon Cole
Sharon Cole
Submitted by Sharon Cole on
Hard to believe Adam Sandler would allow this fiasco to occur in his movies and on his set. He seems so likeable. I guess you never know until something like this happens. Jennifer Aniston surprised me with the "off the reservation" remark she made in a movie that seems to have caught on fire the last few years as an unflinching sarcasm. I guess the only thing to do would be to comment, comment, comment, and perhaps boycott the movie. I think that's all the more reason Dan Snider HAS to remove the name. It has to start with some contemporary RESPECT and being taken seriously for mascot-related behaviorisms such as this to stop. For example, why hire a cultural consultant if they weren't going to listen to him/her? I'm shocked Sandler couldn't stand up to the challenge of finding humor without disparaging people and their culture. It's really a shame in this day and age, that Native people still have to outright fight for a semblance of civil rights respect some 40+ years after Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his stead to refuse his Academy Award for the mistreatment of Indians in Hollywood. What is it going to have to take for American Indians to get a little respect around here? Geez...

Sharon Cole
Sharon Cole
Submitted by Sharon Cole on
Hard to believe Adam Sandler would allow this fiasco to occur in his movies and on his set. He seems so likeable. I guess you never know until something like this happens. Jennifer Aniston surprised me with the "off the reservation" remark she made in a movie that seems to have caught on fire the last few years as an unflinching sarcasm. I guess the only thing to do would be to comment, comment, comment, and perhaps boycott the movie. I think that's all the more reason Dan Snider HAS to remove the name. It has to start with some contemporary RESPECT and being taken seriously for mascot-related behaviorisms such as this to stop. For example, why hire a cultural consultant if they weren't going to listen to him/her? I'm shocked Sandler couldn't stand up to the challenge of finding humor without disparaging people and their culture. It's really a shame in this day and age, that Native people still have to outright fight for a semblance of civil rights respect some 40+ years after Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his stead to refuse his Academy Award for the mistreatment of Indians in Hollywood. What is it going to have to take for American Indians to get a little respect around here? Geez...

Jo Conklin
Jo Conklin
Submitted by Jo Conklin on
I would very much like to see a Kickstarter fundraiser to reimburse the lost wages for actors who are willing to walk off. Do you know if something is already planned, or if there is an organization that might be interested in leading that effort?

twocrows59's picture
twocrows59
Submitted by twocrows59 on
We as the indigenous people of this country should always stand on our principles by not allowing this kind of disrespect, is an insult to just us but to ancestors. I hope and pray that someday we can weed out those who are rotting our Nation from with in they to allow this to go on. I love my inheritance and will always stand proud.

Archie Honrado
Archie Honrado
Submitted by Archie Honrado on
It is unfortunate that Sandler couldn't work harder on finding beauty and humor that gives honor and dignity. No creative license and freedom is justified even if there is only person offended by its mis-representation. Try harder Sandler.

Duke Schreut
Duke Schreut
Submitted by Duke Schreut on
comments?

Jw Mullis
Jw Mullis
Submitted by Jw Mullis on
We (Americans) don't deserve this country. I am not ashamed that my ancestors stole it from the Indians, because that was not me, and I would have not done such a horrible thing, but I am saddened because of it. They respected the land, and the animals on it. This is the only land that we have to live on, and we have done everything but destroy it. We've polluted our land, we've polluted our air, we've polluted our water, and all of it was done for the sake of money. It will take several millenniums to undo the harm that we've caused in only a couple hundred years. The earth wouldn't be in this condition if Indians had control. If I had land to give them, I would. If I had wealth to give them I would. I have a hard time just paying rent, but if I had a fortune, I would give it to you! To the Indians, I am sorry my ancestors took advantage of you and hurt you. Johnny Mullis

Russell Bates
Russell Bates
Submitted by Russell Bates on
writerfella was in seven movies and a TV series episode while he lived in Miami, FL, from 1979 - 1984. He was lucky enough never to have encountered either actual discrimination or even disrespect in that time. This however not always is the case. writerfella NEVER will select THE RIDICULOUS SIX from Netflix and in fact will campaign against its play through all social media.

kpainter's picture
kpainter
Submitted by kpainter on
Good for you! I am so glad to hear that you walked off the set. I will chalk this movie up as one I won't go to see. Kind Regards, Kim

hammertime's picture
hammertime
Submitted by hammertime on
Its Good that they walked off the set,, Adam Sandler is basically an in-sensitive pig looking to make fun of other cultures.. Sandlers movies are getting cruder and cruder and I am willing to bet they will not keep their word once the filming is done and they edit the movie.... They will make the Indian out to look the fool . Try calling Sandler a "dirty jew " or throw a bunch of ugly jew jokes at him and watch him get all bent out of shape and upset........ I am sure with his huge ego, he could not take what he dishes out to others but expects everyone to find his "brand of comedy"..delightful.... whatever... Odds are the movie will be a flop....wait and see

Faye Higbee
Faye Higbee
Submitted by Faye Higbee on
This happened to me- as a drama director I asked the cast to ad lib a little. BIG mistake. One of the characters decided to use the word "Squaw" which appalled me and I knew that it wouldn't go over well. Both of my Native actors left the cast and took their outfits with them. Couldn't blame them. The idiot didn't think before he opened his mouth. Sometimes you just have to shake your head.

atlantamom's picture
atlantamom
Submitted by atlantamom on
not surprised. i recently learned first hand how insensitive and pompous this industry is. my kids and i were hired to be extras in a warner bros movie about an autistic boy. my 11 year old son was chosen specifically b/c he is autistic and his siblings invited to come with. you see, however, there is hollywood autism and there's real autism. by the second day of filming they asked me to leave with my son and told my younger kids that their brother should be on a leash or in an institution and even the medic came over and suggested i try clonopin. i sent letters of complaint to warner bros and shared the story with several media sources but no one was interested enough to comment. its all about the almighty $$.

TangoLilly's picture
TangoLilly
Submitted by TangoLilly on
I support the stance you've taken. Still to your guns .... you are right .... if someone doesn't speak up, no one will.

Johnnie Dorman
Johnnie Dorman
Submitted by Johnnie Dorman on
What is it with movies today, and the people who watch them, that require people to lower themselves in ignorance and dishonor just to make a buck? Disgusting! Adam Sandler is trying to beat Jim Carey at being "dumb and dumber," but sadly failing. If movie makers want to hire Indian actors, they should at least ask them how they feel about the script first.

Cody Blair
Cody Blair
Submitted by Cody Blair on
What a bunch of idiots!have you got no sense of humor at all?get over yourself already,it's all in fun;don't be so full of yourself,it only makes you look ignorant!

Joe Kalk
Joe Kalk
Submitted by Joe Kalk on
Hitler was one of smartest men that ever lived. He taught us what NOT to do. It's a shame Adam Sandler never learned that from his Jewish ancestry. I'm half Jew AND half Ojibwe. After all this time he's doing the same thing. He's dialuded with money and power to the point of sickness and disrespect. Today I'm double offended. The Jewish community in America should never have let this behavior take place. Shame on you Adam, and your parents. You're all disgusting. Go hang out with Turd Nugget, maybe then you'll see where your career is headed. Don't come to Minnesota. I challenge all Native Americans to stop employ and commerce with Adam, and all his sick cast. Everyone involved with this is sick in the head. Signed American War veteran, Ojibwe warrior, and sorry fuckin Jew. Joe Kalk.

Joe Kalk
Joe Kalk
Submitted by Joe Kalk on
I once thought Steve Buscemi was a hero...Sad ending for any glory in his representation, you're now all the way on bottom regaurdless your past.

Florina Massbaum
Florina Massbaum
Submitted by Florina Massbaum on
Our company Harlequin Pictures has a strong, dramatic story/script which has attracted attention because it is written at the level of Dances With Wolves. It is partially funded and the goal is to film in New Mexico late summer 2015. It deals with events related to the Apache nation with a large Apache cast. Apache children are key characters as are the Apache women who have to come to their defense. Loren Anthony looks ideal for one of two brothers. Click on facebook and get coproducer Florina Massbaum's email address.

Joe Kalk
Joe Kalk
Submitted by Joe Kalk on
I don't understand how America could retard so fast. Frankly, I thought Johnny Depp did an awesome job as Tonto, catching indian nuances in silent humor. Ironically my hispanic son-in-law didn't think so. We watched separately, he was largely unentertained, I laughed like hell and had to explain what was funny. Let's see what Johnnies acting and humor and lengthy career opinion is. I bet even wouldn't like that. Let's let them argue it out. LOL. Johnny is probably pissed.

Pat Lisenbee
Pat Lisenbee
Submitted by Pat Lisenbee on
BOO, HISS, to Adam Sandler and his Director. I swear I will NOT watch the movie and will do my best to discourage others from watching it and when I hear people talking and laughing about it, to tell them about the disrespect toward Indians and how it was wrong to act that way towards them. Indians deserve better; even Blacks aren't treated this way as much anymore. Sandler should be ashamed of himself.

Relentless's picture
Relentless
Submitted by Relentless on
Regardless of the film intent, "ridiculous" is not an excuse to deliberately denigrate Natives using tactics going beyond Hollywood stereotypical imagery including using "costumes" versus "regalia." Non Natives have far too much misinformation being thrust in front of them. Adam Sandler & those involved in this film obviously have no respect for Natives and bluntly criticize those who are insulted and refuse to work for them. Kudos to those walking out. Adam Sandler's poor film content throughout his movies accompanied by continuous low ratings just sank even further.

jackcurrie65's picture
jackcurrie65
Submitted by jackcurrie65 on
Adam Sandler is an immature, offensive and unseemly person who belittles all around him, especially women. This is not how most people think or conduct themselves. It's just the same trash we sadly have come to expect. His movies are filled with humiliating, derogatory remarks and toilet humor for the lack of creativity and real humor.

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