The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has apologized to Native American activist and actor Sachin Littlefeather, nearly 50 years after meeting her with disrespect and harassment for turning down Oscar Marlon Brando.
In 1973, Littlefeather became the first person to make a political statement at the Academy Awards. When Brando was announced as Best Actor winning for his role in The Godfather, Littlefeather took to the stage to make Powerful and impactful statement About the portrayal of Native Americans in the entertainment industry.
during her talkLittlefeather was greeted and booed. She recently claimed in an interview with frameworkthe digital magazine of the Academy, which John Wayne physically assaulted and took from the stage.
In June, David Rubin, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, issued an apology To Littlefeather for the way I was treated.
“Today I am writing to you a letter that has been a long time coming on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with modest appreciation for your experience at the 45th Academy Awards,” said Robin’s letter, which was posted online on Monday. “When you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 for not accepting an Academy Award on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and abuse of Native Americans by the film industry, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the need to respect and the importance of human dignity.
“The abuse I was subjected to because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you have experienced and the cost of your career in our industry cannot be compensated,” the statement continued in part. “For too long, the courage you showed has not been recognized. For this, we offer our deepest apologies and sincere admiration.”
In addition, the Academy announced that it will host “An evening with Sacheen LittlefeatherA conversation with Littlefeather on Reflection, Healing, and Celebration, 17 Sept.
Little Feather said the apology was overdue.
“Regarding the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are very patient – it’s only been 50 years! We need to keep our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our way of surviving,” she said in a press release. Absolutely in that I’ll live to see the day this show happens, featuring amazing Aboriginal actors and Bird Runningwater, a TV and film producer who’s also guided the Sundance Institute’s twenty-year commitment to Aboriginal filmmakers through the institute’s labs and the Sundance Film Festival.
“This is a dream come true. It is very encouraging to see how much has changed since I did not accept an Academy Award 50 years ago. I am so proud of everyone who will be on stage.”
The event was programmed by Littlefeather and produced by the Vice President for Education and Public Engagement at the Academy Museum, Amy Homma. It will also include reading of the Academy’s apology letter and performances by Native Americans and special guests.
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