What's more embarrassing than being an actor stuck in an Adam Sandler movie? No, that's not a trick question. The answer is "quitting an Adam Sandler movie because you find working on it offensive." Now, admittedly, we all find Adam Sandler movies offensive--to good taste, to humor, and to audiences worldwide. Even the people who make the films are embarrassed by them. And yet Sandler still gets offers to turn out his comedies. Last year he struck a deal with Netflix to produce four movies, and now the first one--The Ridiculous Six--has run into problems after several local actors left the production in New Mexico because the script “repeatedly insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.” Indian Country Today Media Network reports that a dozen Native actors have left the movie--a spoof of The Magnificent Seven--because of its negative ethnic stereotypes. Sandler's company, Happy Madison Productions, had hired a Native cultural advisor for the film; I guess they chose to ignore the advice, because the movie includes "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."
“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn't down for it," says actor Loren Anthony, "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.” Fellow actor Allison Young, a Navajo, complained that the Native actors were being treated as "Hollywood Indians," and when she protested about the treatment of women, she was told by one of the producers, "if you guys are so sensitive, you should leave." Another actor, Choctaw David Hill said, "they were bringing up those same old arguments that Dan Snyder uses in defending the Redskins. But let me tell you, our dignity is not for sale. It is a real shame because a lot of people probably stay because they need a job.” Netflix has responded to the criticism by issuing a statement defending Sandler as a satirist. “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.”
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