Oscars apologize to Native American actress who turned down Marlon Brando statuette

Almost fifty years after being booed on the Oscars stage for refusing an award on behalf of Marlon Brando in protest of Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans, Sacheen Littlefeather has received an apology from the Academy of Arts and of film sciences, the organization announced on Monday August 15.

Actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who is Apache and Yaqui, had been jeered at the 1973 ceremony as she explained why Marlon Brando, who did not attend, could not accept his Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather. She later claimed security guards had to stop Western star John Wayne from physically assaulting her.

“The insults you suffered because of this statement were misplaced and unjustifiedsays the mail sent in June by the then president of the Academy, David Rubin. The emotional burden you have carried and the cost to your own career in our industry is irreparable. »

“For too long, the courage you have shown has gone unrecognized. For this, we present to you both our most sincere apologies and [nous vous faisons part de] our sincere admiration. »

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“We have to keep our sense of humor”

The Academy released this letter as it announced that Sacheen Littlefeather was invited to speak at the Oscars museum in Los Angeles on September 17.

“We Indians are very patient people – it’s only been fifty years! » reacted Sacheen Littlefeather, 75 years old today, in a press release. “We have to keep our sense of humor about it all the time. It’s our means of survival.”she added. “It’s heartwarming to see how so much has changed since I didn’t accept the Oscar fifty years ago”.

The museum, which opened last September, was committed to dealing with “problematic history” of the film industry, whether it be the racism that tainted Gone with the wind or recent controversies over the low representation of women and minorities. He already discusses the welcome given to Sacheen Littlefeather on that famous evening in 1973.

The World with AFP

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