After reports surfaced this week that a dozen Native Americans walked off the set of the comedy because of offensive jokes in the script, Vanilla Ice, who plays Mark Twain in the film, defended it to TMZ.
“It’s a comedy,” he said. “I don’t think anybody really had any ill feeling or any intent or anything. This movie isn’t ‘Dances With Wolves.’ It’s a comedy. They’re not there to showcase anything about anybody — they’re just making a funny movie, I think.”
“I don’t have anything to do with it,” he added. “I just play my part.”
Vanilla Ice also said he’s “part Choctaw,” so he sees both sides of the issue. The musician had previously worked with Sandler, appearing briefly in his 2012 film “That’s My Boy.”
According to the Indian Country Today Media Network, some female Native Americans in the script were named Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, and producers were not receptive to castmembers’ concerns.
For its part, Netflix issued a statement on Thursday downplaying the controversy.
“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.”
“The Ridiculous Six” is a spoof of the Western “The Magnificent Seven” and is the first in a four-movie deal between Sandler and Netflix. Frank Coraci is directing from a script by Sandler and Tim Herlihy. Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner, Terry Crews and Rob Schneider also star.