I know that saying an Adam Sandler movie is “too tasteless” is like saying Taco Bell chalupas are “too delicious“, or Patrick Swayze in Road House is “too sexy” (aka totally redundant), but it might actually be too too tasteless. Indian Country Today (via E!) says that several Native American actors working on Adam Sandler’s upcoming western comedy The Ridiculous 6 found the movie to be offensive to the Native community, so they walked off set on Wednesday. The movie, which was supposed to be released during Spring Break of 2014 and now will be released sometime in the future on Netflix, is about an orphan (Adam Sandler) who grew up among an Indian tribe, and you’d think watching Sandler do his hoobiddy-doo face in Party City Tonto drag would be the most cringe-worthy part of filming, but according to actor Loren Anthony, it’s not.
“I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn’t down for it. Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist. So I agreed to it but on Monday things started getting weird on the set. We were supposed to be Apache, but it was really stereotypical and we did not look Apache at all. We looked more like Comanche. One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s breath. One character says ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath.’ And the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?'”
“They just treated us as if we should just be on the side. When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy.”
I’m sure that’s not the first time the words “This is a comedy” have been spoken on the set of an Adam Sandler movie, although it might be the first time they weren’t immediately followed by a question mark (“This is a comedy?“).
So far, Adam Sandler hasn’t said anything about the walk-out, but Netflix released a statement defending the film saying:
“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.”
I used to do a bit of background acting (my nickname was “Hey you, stop drinking the pretend booze“), and I never got to see the script, which meant I’d only learn what was happening when they started rolling. So I get the feeling of showing up on set and realizing you’ve made a huge mistake. But they did know they were booked for an Adam Sandler movie, right? That right there should have been their first red flag. I bet even their agents were like “You’re sure you want to do this? Like, they invent Razzie award categories for this guy.”