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Academy of Motion Picture Arts Apologizes to Indigenous Activist Sacheen Littlefeather over 1973 Ceremony

HeadlineAug 17, 2022

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has formally apologized to Indigenous activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather. In 1973, she took the stage at the Oscars on behalf of Marlon Brando, who boycotted the ceremony to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans. Some members of the audience booed and mocked Littlefeather as she addressed the awards ceremony wearing traditional Apache clothing. The actor John Wayne reportedly attempted to remove her from the stage but was restrained by six security guards. Clint Eastwood mocked Littlefeather later in the ceremony. This is part of what Sacheen Littlefeather said on that night in 1973.

Sacheen Littlefeather: “He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry — excuse me — and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”

In September, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will host Sacheen Littlefeather for an evening of “conversation, healing and celebration.”

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