About a dozen Native American actors and actresses walked off the set of Sandler’s “The Ridiculous Six,” according to the Indian Country Today Media Network. Per reports, the actors took offense to racially charged jokes and inaccuracies during the filming of the movie, which Sandler is developing for Netflix.
The streaming service, however, downplayed the controversy in a statement issued Thursday.
“The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous,” said a Netflix spokesperson. “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.”
According to ICTMN, some female Native American characters were given names Beaver’s Breath and No Bra.
“They just treated us as if we should just be on the side,” Loren Anthony, one of the actors who walked off the set, told ICTMN. “When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
Anthony also took issue with inaccuracies in the costumes, saying that they were supposed to be portraying Apache, but “looked more like Comanche.”
Allison Young, a former film student from Dartmouth, also walked off the set and told ICTMN that producers weren’t receptive to the actors’ concerns.
“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,” she said.
“The Ridiculous Six,” a spoof of Western “The Magnificent Seven,” is the first in a four-movie deal between Sandler and Netflix that was announced last October. Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews, Vanilla Ice and Rob Schneider will star, with Frank Coraci directing from a script by Sandler and Tim Herlihy.
The film is expected to hit Netflix next year.