There are certain things that everyone knows they should steer clear from. Sexism, racism, discrimination against people with disabilities, to name a few, but Adam Sandler didn’t get the memo.
Sandler’s new film, The Ridiculous Six
, a spoof of The Magnificent Seven
, is currently filming and is part of a four-picture deal with Netflix. It stars Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz, Taylor Lautner, and Vanilla Ice.
While shooting this week, over 10 aboriginal actors and the film’s cultural advisor walked off set due to offensive scenes. Female Indigenous characters were horribly named ‘Beaver’s Breath’ and ‘No Bra,’ and one female character was depicted smoking a peace pipe while squatting and urinating.
Navajo Nation tribal member Loren Anthony was an actor on set and spoke to Indian Country Today Media Network
Anthony and Nick Nolte in the background. Photo credit:
“We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche,” he said. “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?'”
Anthony originally turned down the role but conceded when production hired a cultural advisor and he was told the film would make an effort to accurately represent Indigenous people.
Anthony and a seated Adam Sandler. Photo credit: Instagram @lorenanthony
“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.”
What’s worse is Netflix’s defense of the movie.
“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 popularised, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of – but in on – the joke.”
Except they’re not in on the joke, because it’s not funny.
Satirizing the way Aboriginal people were portrayed in old westerns needs to be done with tact, and one must be careful not to further discriminate their culture. Sandler is NOT the man for that job. His juvenile and incredibly simple humour is too basic to be able to handle such a complicated issue.