Sacheen Littlefeather displays on her protest in opposition to Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans
When Sacheen Littlefeather spoke out in opposition to Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans on the 1973 Academy Awards, she was booed onstage and blacklisted from the movie business.
Nearly 50 years later, the Apache and Yaqui actor and activist mentioned she would do all of it once more “in a heartbeat.”
In an interview with Variety forward of an look this weekend on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Littlefeather mirrored on the now well-known 60-second speech she gave when she declined an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando.
“I didn’t do that completely for Marlon. I didn’t do that on my behalf,” she informed the publication. “I did this for all Native individuals all over the place who suffered from racial prejudice and discrimination. I did it for all of those that have been born below the umbrella of genocide, within the United States, and Canada, and for all of us who’ve suffered by way of excessive stereotypes which weren’t of our selecting.”
Littlefeather additionally mentioned how she was shunned by the leisure world after her speech, which referenced the standoff at Wounded Knee. That similar yr, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the South Dakota city however confronted resistance from federal legislation enforcement.
“(The FBI) went round Hollywood and informed individuals to not rent me. If they did, they’d shut their movie manufacturing down,” she mentioned. “In addition, different individuals have been let on discuss reveals like Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, and different standard discuss reveals. They may go on there and discuss me, however I used to be by no means allowed to go on them and signify myself.”
Brando, in contrast to many within the business, remained an ally. The two met by way of Brando’s curiosity in Indigenous points and Littlefeather mentioned she appreciated the actor’s “means to see by way of the baloney and the bias.”
“He understood racial prejudice in a means that most individuals don’t, and that was refreshing to me,” she added.
Littlefeather’s remarks come a few month after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mentioned it had apologized for the abuse she endured throughout and after her speech. On Saturday, the Academy is internet hosting a dialog with Littlefeather in an occasion that may also characteristic different Indigenous performers and audio system.