Image source: Onion A.V. Club
The Navajo Nation has expressed disappointment at the stereotypical and offensive elements in the screenplay of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous Six.' Image source: Onion A.V. Club

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly Condemns Adam Sandler Film


On Wednesday, about a dozen Native American actors walked off the set of The Ridiculous Six, a film being made by Adam Sandler through his production company Happy Madison and intended for a Netflix release. The actors objected to elements of the screenplay and action that they found stereotypical, offensive and demeaning. Ben Shelly, President of the Navajo Nation, has come out in support of the actors, saying in a statement that "Our Native American culture and tradition is no joking matter. ... Enough is enough."

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

The full statement from the Navajo Nation is below:

President Shelly expresses discontent with Native stereotypes in Sandler film

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.— Native American stereotypes in film must end.

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly was appalled to hear about the negative portrayal of Native Americans in the Adam Sandler film, The Ridiculous Six, currently in production.

Several Navajo actors walked out on the production earlier this week after gross misrepresentation of the Apache culture and derogatory dialogue against native women.

They were also disgusted with female character names like Beaver’s Breath and No Bra.

Regardless of the comedic nature of the film, President Shelly said such disrespect against Native Americans is uncalled for in this day and age.

“Our Native American culture and tradition is no joking matter. I applaud these Navajo actors for their courage and conviction to walk off the set in protest,” President Shelly said. “Native people have dealt with negative stereotypes on film for too long.

“Enough is enough,” he added.

The Navajo Nation Office of Broadcast Services ensures cultural accuracy in scripts for films and commercials produced on the Nation. Such stereotypes and racially discriminatory characterizations are not filmed on Navajo land.

Kee Long, program manager for NNOBS, said his staff review proposed scripts that are sent to the office for film licenses.

“We had a script not too long ago, from a French company that was doing a film on alcoholism,” Long said.

The script was a portrayal of the Sioux Nation. Long asked the production company why they did not film on Sioux tribal lands. He was not provided an answer and the production did not take place.

For Navajo subject matter, the NNOBS staff verify proper portrayal. They coordinate with the respective tribal departments to verify accuracy.

“Two independent filmmakers submitted a script for filming recently on the tribal dog population. We coordinated with the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department and Animal Control for review of the script,” Kee said.

The Navajo Nation does not allow racially discriminatory scripts to be filmed on Navajo land.

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Miriam Adams
Miriam Adams
Submitted by Miriam Adams on
Yatey!: Shameful that such stereotyping continues, but the shame of defending such a rubbish "script" as "humor" by films' Hollywood producers compounds the insults as they grab tax benefits from the working people of New Mexico for their (at best) juvenile mockery makes it even worse. The last time Sandler was remotely considered funny was more than a decade ago. Netflix corporation 'heads' must be smoky crack if they think there is any demand for more nasty juvenile locker room joking. Thanks to President Ben Shelly for taking a very public stand during this period of GATHERING of NATIONS!!....Let's all send a message....boycott Sandler and Netflix.

Britta's picture
Submitted by Britta on
I sure hope they kicked him off the land and tell him to make his stupid movie elsewhere, it's disgusting.........I never liked him anyways

Joe Kalk
Joe Kalk
Submitted by Joe Kalk on

Joe Kalk
Joe Kalk
Submitted by Joe Kalk on

CJKlepper's picture
Submitted by CJKlepper on
Isn't it getting to be "trendy" to being sensitive to any issue that has to do with Native Americans? It mattered not when the Navajo Nation allowed "John Wayne" and his Hollywood crews did numerous filming on the rez years back. Is it that if it's not "John Wayne" we're not stereotyped? The Navajos and other Native Americans have to understand characterization, whether it be derogatory or discriminatory. We, Native Americans, have lived to what has been perceived as "characterization" for centuries, and now we all of sudden became sensitive? I would think we have gone beyond sensitivity of characterization and began to accept recognition as to what we are as Native Americans. Just like black people, who were Negroes when they were first brought to this country as slaves, then by their white American owners were called "the N***** word", which wasn't even a characterization, but to them it became derogatory and discriminatory once they were emancipated. To this day the black folks, one would think they would start acting like a "freed" people instead of depending on others (i.e., government welfare) just like their ancestors have depended on their owners. Just the same, iIt's about time Native Americans stop depending on Washington bureaucrats and stand on our own by living the true meaning of sovereignty, which word has been thrown around without actual living it . We have to desensitize ourselves from the past and move forward into modern age by accepting any comedic characterization about our culture. The blacks have been "spoofed" by mimes on Broadway plays by whites; did they complained?

AZphxNDN's picture
Submitted by AZphxNDN on
Just because they filmed lone ranger and tonto and a million ways to die in the west Adam Sandler thinks he can push the envelope and capitalize on the popularity of these old west style comedies and make fun of Native Americans, this movie he wants to make should be opposed by all Native American Tribes let's all stand together and send a message to Adam Sandler.