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Jason Salsman: Maybe tribal casinos shouldn't book Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler portrayed a "mixed-race" Indian character in The Ridiculous Six. Still image: Netflix

Remember the controversy over the portrayal of Native people by Hollywood? Jason Salsman of Native News Today takes a look at the issue again now that the Adam Sandler, the writer and star of the film in question, is coming to the casino owned by the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma:
If you Google “Adam Sandler Native Americans” the first result you see is a headline from April 2015. It simply reads, ‘Native Actors Walk Off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders.’

Insults to women and elders? Know many Natives that will let that slide? The movie referenced is Netflix original, “The Ridiculous Six,” which has since been critically panned and labeled a flop. But it caused a whirlwind of controversy in Indian Country, with Natives from coast-to-coast once again angered and feeling the sting of inaccurate stereotypes and unfair appropriation.

Among the jokes setting the actors off included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.

Actor Allison Young, a Navajo Nation citizen, told ‘Indian Country Media Network,’ “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.”

David Hill, a Choctaw Nation citizen, told ‘ICTMN,’ “We understand this is a comedy, we understand this is humor, but we won’t tolerate disrespect. I told the director if he had talked to a native woman the way they were talked to in this movie—I said I would knock his *** out.”

Read More on the Story:
#RealTalk with Jason Salsman (Mvskoke Media 4/5)