Production has been under way in New Mexico for the past few months on Adam Sandler's Ridiculous 6, the first of four movies he is making as part of an exclusive deal with Netflix, although now the production has hit a snag. Yesterday, approximately a dozen Native American actors, along with the Native American cultural advisor, walked off the New Mexico set, because several jokes in the script insulted native women, elders and, according to Indian Country Today, "grossly misrepresented Apache culture." Deadline's sources say that production was not interrupted by the actors walking off the set. Netflix tried to downplay the controversy with a statement released earlier today, which you can read below.
"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."
The movie reportedly features characters named Beaver's Breath and No Bra, while another female character is depicted squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe. There is also a scene where feathers are "inappropriately positioned on a teepee." Loren Anthony was one of the actors that walked off the set, who initially turned down the offer to appear in the movie, but changed his mind when the producers told him they hired a cultural consultant. Here's what he had to say below.
"There were about a dozen of us who walked off the set. 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. We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche. 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."
Allison Miller, a former film student at Dartmouth, was another actress who walked off the set, stating she was offended by the filmmakers' behavior.
"When I began doing this film, I had an uneasy feeling inside of me and I felt so conflicted. 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."
Ridiculous 6 is described as a spoof of The Magnificent Seven, starring Adam Sandler as a man who was raised as an orphan by an Indian tribe. The supporting cast includes Taylor Lautner, Luke Wilson, Rob Schneider, Terry Crews, Nick Nolte, Jon Lovitz, Whitney Cummings, Jorge Garcia, Will Forte, Danny Trejo, Steve Buscemi, Blake Shelton, Vanilla Ice, Dan Aykroyd, Nick Swardson, Steve Zahn, Chris Parnell and Lavell Crawford. Frank Coraci is directing from a script co-written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy. Take a look at some of Loren Anthony's photos from the set that he posted on his Instagram page, which shows him pictured alongside Adam Sandler and Nick Nolte.