Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico

Loren Anthony was among those who walked off the set of The Ridiculous Six. Photo from Instagram

About a dozen Native actors walked off the set of an Adam Sandler film in New Mexico after they felt insulted by the way Native people were being portrayed.

Several of the actors are members of the Navajo Nation who said they were being forced to dress in culturally inappropriate costumes. They also complained about some of the language in The Ridiculous Six, which is described as a satire of the Western genre.

“Nothing has changed,” Allison Young told Indian Country Today, which broke the story on its website. “We are still just Hollywood Indians.”

The film is being produced exclusively for distribution through NetFlix. The company defended the script despite criticism from the Native actors about insensitivity towards women and elders.

“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” a spokesperson told Deadline. “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.”

Ben Shelly, the outgoing president of the Navajo Nation, praised the actors for walking off the set. He said stereotypes have no place in film today.

“Native people have dealt with negative stereotypes on film for too long," Shelly said in a press release. “Enough is enough."

Loren Anthony with Saginaw Grant on the set of The Ridiculous Six. Photo from Instagram

The cast features a handful of Native actors -- including Danny Trejo (Yaqui) and Saginaw Grant (Sac and Fox). The ones who walked off the set did not appear to have name billing in the film, based on IMDB.

Get the Story:
Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders (Indian Country Today 4/23)
Netflix Defends Adam Sandler “Satire” After Native American Actors Walk Off Over Script (Deadline 4/23)

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