Adam Sandler got a rude awakening from the cast of his in-progress movie The Ridiculous Six.
After Native American actors on set complained about how deeply racist and insensitive the movie was turning out, the producers told them, "If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave."
So they did — about a dozen of them, along with the movie's Native American cultural adviser, reports the Indian Country Today Media Network.
According to the cast, the comedy-Western spoof loosely based on The Magnificent Seven — which stars Sandler, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Jon Lovitz, Dan Aykroyd, and Vanilla Ice — contains a number of offensive character names as well as incorrect costumes and sets for the tribe they were supposed to portray.
For instance, one female character is named "Beaver's Breath;" another is "No Bra." In one scene, "Beaver's Breath" squats and urinates while smoking a peace pipe, which is a ceremonial religious item for many Native American tribes. The action would be akin to someone peeing into a Communion chalice at a church's altar, or using a temple's Torah for toilet paper.
A spokesperson for Netflix responded on Thursday to the walkout.
"The movie has 'ridiculous' in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous," the streaming service said in a statement. "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."
But according to the cast, they weren't "in on" the movie's brand of humor, which they characterized as disrespectful and ignorant.
"Nothing has changed" with regards to how the film industry treats Native Americans, said Allison Young, one of the actresses who walked off set. "We are still just Hollywood Indians."
"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," Anthony said. "So I agreed to it."
Anthony had posted an on-set photo to Instagram earlier in the week. You can see Nick Nolte just over his shoulder.
Actor David Hill, another cast member who left in the dispute, said, "Our dignity is not for sale." He continued: "We understand this is a comedy, we understand this is humor, but we won't tolerate disrespect."
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