Adam Sandler's first movie in his four-film deal with Netflix is already gearing up to be offensive, in addition to being offensively bad. Approximately a dozen Native American actors walked off the set of The Ridiculous Six Wednesday, Indian Country Today reports. The actors cited disrespect toward Native American elders and women and gross misrepresentation of the Apache culture in their refusal to continue working on the film.
The film includes Native American characters named Beaver's Breath and No Bra; an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe; and inaccurate, stereotypical set and costume designs. When the actors voiced their concerns with the director and producers they were brushed off. A cultural consultant was hired, but it hasn't seemed to make a difference.
Allison Young told Indian Country Today:
"When I began doing this film, I had an uneasy feeling inside of me and I felt so conflicted. I talked to a former instructor at Dartmouth and he told me to take this as finally experiencing stereotyping first hand. 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."
Loren Anthony said he spoke with the director, who told him the "disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy. This sentiment was echoed by Netflix in a statement given to Deadline.
"The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous," a spokesman said. "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."
Despite the departing actors who clearly weren't in on the joke, filming hasn't been interrupted.