Adam Sandler is currently in New Mexico filming The Ridiculous Six, his first original movie for Netflix. Details about the film are scant. We know that it is apparently a parody of the classic Western The Magnificent Seven; we also know that a portion of the film features portrayals of American Indians so offensive that a dozen Native actors, including the film’s “cultural advisor,” straight-up walked off the set yesterday.
The examples of disrespect 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.
Two extras interviewed by ICTMN’s Vincent Schilling said they were initially uneasy about participating in the film, but were assured by Sandler’s producers that the portrayals would not be racist. That promise was quickly revealed as a lie.
Said an extra named Loren Anthony:
“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.”
According to Anthony, the actors were supposed to be portraying members of the Apache tribe, but, in their costumes, “[W]e did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche.” He also expanded on the aforementioned “Beaver’s Breath” gag:
“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?’”
A Navajo film student named Allison Young said the producers told the extras that if they were going to be “sensitive,” that they “should leave”:
“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 74-year-old man of Choctaw descent, compared the film’s producers to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder:
“They were being disrespectful,” he said. “They were bringing up those same old arguments that Dan Snyder uses in defending the Redskins.”
There is probably a strong crossover between people who support the sovereignty of the Washington Redskins and people who would willingly watch an Adam Sandler movie in 2015. That group of people is also, I guess, Netflix’s new target audience.
If you have any more info about the film, including the script, email me at email@example.com
A spokesperson for Netflix says, “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.”