The actor known for iconic roles in films such as Billy Madison and The Waterboy is being accused of being insensitive to the concerns of Native American extras on the set of the new movie he's producing for Netflix, The Ridiculous 6. According to reports, some Native American actors walked out on filming after their complaints about racist jokes were brushed off.
The Associated Press reports that actor Loren Anthony and eight others quit the film, which is supposed to be a satire of classic Western films, after some scenes included disrespect towards Apache women and elders.
Anthony, a Navajo actor who started as an extra for the film this week, told reporters, "Right from the get-go, it didn't feel right. But we let it go. Once we found out more about the script, we felt it was totally disrespectful to elders and Native women."
Some of the scenes Anthony took issue with disrespected Native American traditions, like one that showed a woman urinating while she smoked a peace pipe, he said. The actors also had complaints about disrespectful names given to Native American characters in the film, like "No Bra" and "Beaver's Breath."
"They just treated us as if we should just be on the side," Anthony reportedly said. "When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy."
So the white director of a film written and produced by white men told Native American actors that he knows better than they do about what's appropriate when it comes to "comedy" about Native American culture.
Here's Netflix's statement about the situation, in case that matters: "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."
That "diverse" cast Netflix is referring to? The cast list for The Ridiculous 6 on IMDb shows 31 white actors compared to six people of color. Diverse. Right.
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