Shalom Life | April 26, 2015

First Nations Actors Storm Off the Set of Adam Sandler's Western Spoof

Despite concerns raised by actors on the set, and even following a walkout by cast, Netflix and Sandler stand by the 'The Ridiculous Six'

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: April 24th, 2015 in Culture » Film » News

Photo: Adam Sandler as a cowboy


First Nations peoples are rightfully upset over Adam Sandler’s latest comedy project The Ridiculous Six. The film has been deemed offensive to Apache women and elders, and disputes over the film’s script resulted in Native American actors walking off the set this past Wednesday.

The Ridiculous Six is one of Sandler’s current films in production for Netflix, and is part of a four-picture deal. The project is meant to be a spoof of the 1960’s Western classic The Magnificent Seven, and an attempt to poke fun at spaghetti Westerns. However his often controversial jokes have gone too far this time, and people are calling him out on it.

His film features inaccurate and stereotypical depictions of the Apache culture, and gives a highly offensive look at First Nations peoples. Female characters sport names like “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra,” and the costumes are reminiscent of inaccurate, and racist, First Nations caricatures.

However, Netflix, who’s producing the film in collaboration with Happy Madison productions, which is Sandler’s production company, are defending the script, claiming it’s a “broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularize.”

“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” they said. “It featur[es] a diverse cast that is not only part of- but in on- the joke.”

However not all of the cast feels that way, and have been open in expressing their concerns and outrage over the offensive production. Loren Anthony, a member of the Navajo Nation, who was one of multiple actors to walk off of the set on Wednesday, said he’d only agreed to help film the project once a cultural advisor was hired for the film.

Although that doesn’t seem to have done much good.

“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this,” he said in the report, “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.”

Despite the concerns raised, the director continued to film and dismissed the issues raised. Anthony then thanked his supporters for backing the efforts to protect “our indigenous people.”

Sandler’s production company has yet to comment on the events of Wednesday. But, hopefully, they’ll come to their senses about what is, and isn’t, funny and issue a better apology than Netflix did.

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