The Academy apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather for her treatment at the 1973 Oscars : NPR


Sacheen Littlefeather appears at the Academy Awards ceremony to announce that Marlon Brando turned down his Best Actor Oscar for his role in the godfatheron March 27, 1973.


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Sacheen Littlefeather appears at the Academy Awards ceremony to announce that Marlon Brando turned down his Best Actor Oscar for his role in the godfatheron March 27, 1973.


NEW YORK — Nearly 50 years after Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage at the Academy Awards on behalf of Marlon Brando to speak about the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood movies, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences apologized for the abuse she suffered. had undergone.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures said Monday that Littlefeather, now 75, will host an evening of “conversation, healing and celebration” on Sept. 17.

When Brando won Best Actor for the godfatherDressed in a deerskin dress and moccasins, Littlefeather took the stage, becoming the first Native American woman ever to do so at the Academy Awards. In a 60-second speech, she explained that Brando was unable to accept the award because of “the film industry’s treatment of American Indians today.”

Some in the audience chased her out. John Wayne, who was backstage at the time, was reportedly furious. The 1973 Oscars were awarded during the American Indian Movement’s two-month occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota. In the years since, Littlefeather has said she has been mocked, discriminated against and personally attacked for her brief Academy Awards appearance.

In making the announcement, the Academy Museum shared a letter sent to Littlefeather on June 18 by academy president David Rubin about the iconic Oscar moment. Rubin called Littlefeather’s speech “a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the need for respect and the importance of human dignity.”

“The abuse you have endured because of this statement was unjustified and unjustified,” Rubin wrote. “The emotional burden you have endured and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you have shown has not been recognized. For this we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”

Littlefeather said in a statement that it’s “very encouraging to see how much has changed since I didn’t accept the Academy Award 50 years ago.”

“As for the Academy’s apologies to me, we Indians are very patient people – it’s only been 50 years!” said Kleineveer. “We have to keep our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our way of survival.”

During the Academy Museum event in Los Angeles, Littlefeather will meet with producer Bird Runningwater, co-chair of the academy’s Indigenous Alliance.

In a podcast earlier this year with Jacqueline Stewart, a film scholar and director of the Academy Museum, Littlefeather reflected on what compelled her to speak out in 1973.

“I thought there should be indigenous people, black people, Asian people, Chicano people — I thought everyone should be there,” Littlefeather said. “A rainbow of people who should be involved in creating their own image.”

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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