At least a dozen Native American actors have walked off a movie set in protest over what they consider actor-director Adam Sandler's disrespectful treatment of their culture in a comedy he's filming for Netflix.
A cultural advisor has also quit the set of the Ridiculous Six, a comedy about the Old West which Sandler is filming in New Mexico.
The Native Americans, mostly members of the Navajo Nation, have a litany of complaints about the movie, including gross inaccuracies and insensitive names for Native American characters such as "Beaver's Breath" and "No Bra" for an Apache woman, reports Indian Country Today Media Network.
"We talked to the producers about our concerns," said a female Navajo film student who had signed on to do the movie. "They just told us, 'If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.' I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. I didn't want to cry but the feeling just came over me. This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way."
Netflix defended the film. "The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous," a spokesman told Entertainment Weekly. "It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularised, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke."
The film is supposed to be a spoof of The Magnificent Seven and was written by Sandler and his frequent collaborator Tim Herlihy. The movie stars Sandler, Will Forte, Steve Buscemi, Taylor Lautner and Vanilla Ice. Sandler has been contracted to do four films for Netflix.