Academy apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather for treatment when she refused Marlon Brando’s Oscar in 1973


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized to Native American activist and actor Sacheen Littlefeather, nearly 50 years after she received contempt and harassment for turning down Marlon Brando’s Oscar.

In 1973, Littlefeather became the first person to make a political statement at the Oscars ceremony. When Brando was named Best Actor winner for his role in “The Godfather,” Littlefeather took the stage to make a powerful and poignant statement about the portrayal of Native Americans in the entertainment industry.

During her speech, Kleinveer was applauded and booed. She recently claimed in an interview with A.frame, the academy’s digital magazine, that John Wayne physically assaulted her and took her off the stage.

In June, David Rubin, the former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, apologized to Littlefeather for the way she was treated.

“I am writing you today a long-standing letter on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with humble acknowledgment of your experience at the 45th Academy Awards,” said Rubin’s letter, published online Monday. “When you stood on the Oscar stage in 1973 not to accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the film industry’s misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people, you made a powerful statement that will continue to remember us. to the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity.

“The abuse you have suffered because of this statement was unjustified and unjustified. The emotional burden you have endured and the cost to your own career in our industry is irreparable,” the statement continues in part. “For too long the courage you have shown has not been acknowledged. For this, we offer our deepest apologies as well as our sincere admiration.”

In addition, the academy has announced that it will host “An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather” on September 17, a talk with Littlefeather about reflection, healing and celebration.

Littlefeather said the apology was overdue.

“As for the Academy’s apologies to me, we Indians are very patient people – it’s only been 50 years! We must maintain our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our way of survival,” she said in a press release. “I never thought I’d live to see the day when this program would take place, featuring such amazing Indigenous artists and Bird Runningwater, a television and film producer who also witnessed the Sundance Institute’s twenty years of dedication to Indigenous filmmakers through the Labs of the Institute and Sundance Film Festival.

“This is a dream come true. It’s heartwarming to see how much has changed since I didn’t receive the Academy Award fifty years ago. I am so proud of everyone who will appear on stage,” she added.

The event was programmed by Littlefeather and produced by Amy Homma, the Academy Museum’s vice president of education and public engagement. It also includes a reading of the academy’s letter of apology, Native American appearances, and special guests.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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