Netflix defends Sandler film after native American walkout

GMT 22:49 2015 Friday ,24 April

Arab Today, arab today Netflix defends Sandler film after native American walkout

US actor Adam Sandler
Los Angeles - AFP

Streaming giant Netflix has defended a new Adam Sandler movie after a group of native American actors stormed off the set saying it used racially offensive stereotypes.

Actors including Navajo natives quit the set of "The Ridiculous Six" earlier this week, lamenting use of broken English and characters such as Beaver's Breath and Wears No Bra.

Sandler's spokeswoman declined Friday to comment on the storm, referring AFP to a statement issued by Netflix, which has exclusive rights to distributing the film, a spoof on "The Magnificent Seven."

Netflix implied that the native Americans were being oversensitive about what were clearly jokes.

"The movie has 'Ridiculous' in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous," said its 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."

Among those who walked out was Navajo Nation tribal member Loren Anthony, who is also the lead singer of a metal band, Bloodline.

"There were about a dozen of us who walked off the set," he said.

"I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn't down for it," he told the Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN). "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," added Anthony, who did not respond to an AFP request for further comment.

Another native American actor, Allison Young, said: "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. Nothing has changed... We are still just Hollywood Indians."

She told CNN Friday that the cultural advisor on the film set was the first person to walk off, "and we followed his lead," adding that two of the native American characters were played by white actresses.

"Especially one scene that I felt very offended by was when a native American woman... was passed out on the ground, and the brothers are pouring liquor on her and then she jumps up and she starts dancing with everyone."

The film, being made by Sandler's Happy Madison Productions, also stars Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice.

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