Sacheen Littlefeather reflects on her protest against Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans


Nearly 50 years later, the Apache and Yaqui actor and activist stated she would do all of it once more “in a heartbeat.”

In an interview with Variety forward of an look this weekend on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Littlefeather mirrored on the now well-known 60-second speech she gave when she declined an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando.

“I did not do this totally for Marlon. I did not do this on my behalf,” she advised the publication. “I did this for all Native people everywhere who suffered from racial prejudice and discrimination. I did it for all of those who were born under the umbrella of genocide, in the United States, and Canada, and for all of us who have suffered through extreme stereotypes which were not of our choosing.”

Littlefeather (left), pictured in 2010, said she faced personal and professional blowback as a result of taking a stand.
Littlefeather additionally mentioned how she was shunned by the leisure world after her speech, which referenced the standoff at Wounded Knee. That identical 12 months, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the South Dakota city however confronted resistance from federal regulation enforcement.

“(The FBI) went around Hollywood and told people not to hire me. If they did, they would shut their film production down,” she stated. “In addition, other people were let on talk shows like Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, and other popular talk shows. They could go on there and talk about me, but I was never allowed to go on them and represent myself.”

Brando, not like many within the business, remained an ally. The two met by way of Brando’s curiosity in Indigenous points and Littlefeather stated she appreciated the actor’s “ability to see through the baloney and the prejudice.”

“He understood racial prejudice in a way that most people do not, and that was refreshing to me,” she added.

Littlefeather’s remarks come a couple of month after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stated it had apologized for the abuse she endured throughout and after her speech. On Saturday, the Academy is internet hosting a dialog with Littlefeather in an occasion that will even characteristic different Indigenous performers and audio system.

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