Adam Sandler faced a lot of heat last month after numerous Native Americans left the set of his upcoming movie, Ridiculous 6, stating they were offended by blatant racism. Now, Netflix may face backlash as well, after the company backed up Sandler’s actions.
Shortly after around 12 Native American extras walked off of the set of Sandler’s new movie, Netflix quickly defended the film. A representative for the streaming media company told Entertainment Weekly that not only are many Native Americans understanding of the jokes, but that no disrespect is intended.
“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.”
Not everyone agrees, including Gyasi Ross, editor of Indian Country Today. Although Sandler is known for his goofy yet controversial comedies, Ross feels it’s disrespectful to Native Americans for Netflix to back up such behavior.
“What IS surprising is the lame, condescending and tired excuse provided by Netflix—that, essentially, Native people are ‘in on the joke.’ This is more troubling than Sandler’s idiocy—at least he’s staying true to form.”
In addition to a string of offensive remarks in the film, actress Allie Young, one of the dozen Native people who left movie set last month, recently told MSNBC that she was forced to bronze her skin for the role.
“I’m full-blooded Navajo and they bronzed me. I was quite confused.”
Other actors feel same way as Young, stating that tribes were misrepresented, Native American women were ridiculed, and slurs such as “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra” were used.
However, it appears that Netflix will continue with its plans to release Ridiculous 6, along with several other Sandler movies. In the meantime, however, numerous Native Americans have already canceled their Netflix subscription. Loren Anthony, one of the actors who left the set, tweeted that he will continue to open up on the subject, followed by the hashtags #NeverGiveUp and #NativePride.
— Loren Anthony (@BLOODLINE1) May 2, 2015
Yet, some of the film’s actors are supporting Sandler, including Vanilla Ice, who recently said that although he is part Choctaw Indian himself, that the film “is what it is.”
Adam Sandler has yet to comment on the controversy, and whether Netflix will issue another public response remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Ridiculous 6 is currently slated for release in 2016.
[Photo Courtesy of Jason Merritt/Getty Images]