“If you’re overly sensitive about it…then you should probably leave,” a producer is heard telling a group of Native American actors.
By Emily Orley, BuzzFeed News
A video has surfaced from the set Adam Sandler’s new film, The Ridiculous Six, in which a producer tells many offended Native American actors to leave if they’re “overly sensitive.” The released cell phone video — from Native American actor Goldie Tom, obtained by the Indian Country Today Media Network — shows a heated discussion before dozens of Native Americans walked off set after feeling misrepresented.
“There’s a stereotype going on,” one of the actors says. A producer responds, “Here’s the thing: If you’re overly sensitive about it, then you should probably leave. That’s the most important thing, we don’t want to offend anyone.”
The actors try to explain why the characters’ names — specifically Beaver’s Breath and No Bra — are offensive. “We don’t need to sell our people out,” another actor says. “I understand completely, but we’re not going to change Beaver’s Breath. That’s in the movie,” the producer responds.
The crew also try to tell the actors that “Adam’s making fun of himself” more than he’s making fun of Native Americans. “Does he make fun of the Jews?” one of the actors asks to no response. “I really think you guys are the good guys,” another crew member says.
“We want to know why our advisor is leaving because he felt disrespected,” an actor says, noting the movie’s cultural advisor, Bruce, wasn’t able to talk with Sandler when he wanted to. A specific wedding scene in which a teepee wasn’t accurately decorated, which one of the female actors said was “insensitive” and “insulting,” is what allegedly hurt the cultural advisor.
Native American actor Loren Anthony, who walked off the set of The Ridiculous Six, told the Indian Country Today Media Network last week he was reluctant to take the part in the first place. “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 told the website.
When news broke on April 23 that many Native Americans had walked off the set, Netflix issued the following statement: “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.”
Netflix did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment about the new details that have emerged from the video. BuzzFeed News has also reached out to Anthony and Tom for comment, but has not yet heard back.