You know a movie is bad when a dozen actors walk off the set.
A dozen Native American actors — including the movie’s Native consultant — walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s new Western parody The Ridiculous Six on Wednesday, April 22.
The actors found the movie’s script both offensive toward Native American women and misrepresentative of Apache culture. Sandler’s screenplay featured jokes about an Apache woman smoking a peace pipe while squatting to pee as well as names like “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra,” making the film a new contender for Sandler’s most offensive movie yet.
“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn’t down for it,” Loren Anthony, a Navajo Nation member and lead singer of metal band Bloodline, explainingÂ to Indian Country Today Media Network why he originally declined to participate in the film. “Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist.”
The producers persuaded Anthony to join the set after assuring him that a cultural consultant had been hired and that the work would be “tasteful.”
Anthony shared a few photos from theÂ Ridiculous SixÂ shoot on his Instagram account in mid-April, according to Mashable, displaying that he was having a good time on set.
“Hanging out with Adam Sandler, viewing take backs from today’s scenes,” Anthony wrote on Instagram. “Having a good time, great cast, great crew and feeling blessed to be here. #NativePride #Comedy #AdamSandler #NM #film #SAGfilm #LasVegasNM #movies #fitfam #gains #beastmode #NativeActor #Acting #Actor #indigenous”
“But on Monday, [April 20] things started getting weird on the set,” Anthony commented to Indian Country Today Media Network.
“[I] had an uneasy feeling inside of me and felt so conflicted,” another Navajo actor Allison Young commented to Think Progress about signing on to the film. “We talked to the producers about our concerns. They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should just leave.’ …Nothing has changed. We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
Other actors mentioned inaccurate costumes and a generally disrespectful and closed-minded atmosphere as their reasons for leaving the set.
The Ridiculous Six is the first film of a four-movie deal Netflix made with Sandler last fall. Netflix responded to the actors’ allegations against the spoof of The Magnificent Seven by dismissing their complaints.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” a Netflix spokesperson responded, according to Vulture. “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.”
The actors have not returned to set, as additional allegations continue to come out.