Native American actors walk off set of Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six
Netflix is now facing a potential media issue surrounding Adam Sandler's western comedy THE RIDICULOUS SIX. Part of a four film deal between the actor and the streaming movie service, THE RIDICULOUS SIX follows Sandler as a white man raised from childhood by Native Americans. In typical Happy Madison fashion, hijinks ensue. Featuring a cast that includes David Spade, Terry Crews, Taylor Lautner, Nick Nolte, Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, Luke Wilson, Rob Schneider, Steve Zahn, Jorge Garcia, Nick Swardson, Chris Parnell, Jon Lovitz, Whitney Cummings, Norm MacDonald, Blake Shelton as Wyatt Earp, Lavell Crawford as Lavall Patch, Vanilla Ice as Mark Twain, Dan Aykroyd, and David Spade as General Custer, THE RIDICULOUS SIX sounds like it would actually be worth seeing. But, some Native Americans don't agree.
Statements reported on Indian Country Today Media claim that the film is derogatory to Native Americans and includes female characters with insulting names.
The examples of disrespect included Native womens names such as Beavers Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.
Production has been in full swing since February and will be continuing through this month. It seems odd that the issues would be raised now, but Netflix has released a statement in response to the accusations.
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.
Native American sensitivity has been a hot button topic in recent years related to sports franchises like the Washington Redskins. Seth MacFarlane's A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST featured Native American characters but there did not appear to be any uproar like this for that production. Whether this turns into an issue or not remains to be seen, but it does deserve to be mentioned that only some of the performers left filming while others stayed.
THE RIDICULOUS SIX will debut on Netflix in 2016.