Adam Sandler is known for skewering time-honored traditions. He took on golf in Happy Gilmore, famously lampooning the sport in a way that hadn’t been done since the Caddyshack movies.
But maybe Adam Sandler has gone too far this time. Recently a group of Native American actors walked off the set for Adam Sandler’s film The Ridiculous Six. The film is a spoof of The Magnificent Seven, and is one of a four-movie deal with Netflix for films by Adam Sandler. Nick Nolte, Dan Aykroyd, and Adam Sandler himself star in the film.
The people who walked off the set were heard in a video complaining about stereotypes of Native Americans in the film. These include American Indian actors being bronzed to look darker and white actors playing Apache Indians.
In the video, a producer is overheard telling these actors that if they are “overly sensitive about it, then you should probably leave.”
Netflix stands behind the filmmakers. They say the film is not supposed to seriously address any racial issues. It is a comedy, a spoof.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous. It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”
But now a petition has been started online demanding that Adam Sandler be removed from the film. The petition lists the grievances.
Sandler’s so-called “jokes” include naming Indian women “Beaver Breath,” “Never Wears Bra,” and “Sits-on-Face,” rhyming “tee-pee” with “pee-pee”, and having white men toss an alcoholic beverage at an Indian woman passed out on the ground, even while alcoholism, sexual assault, and violence against women continue to ravage real reservations.
The writer of the petition materials speaks of his motive in all this:
I want to speak up for our Indigenous youth who are deeply impacted by these negative stereotypes that are too often perpetuated in film and media. It is my goal to bring about change in the film industry and make room for Native American talent to tell our own stories – stories about a people who actually still exist today in the 21st century.
The goal of the petition was to get 88,000 signatures. As of this writing, they have 87,886.