In 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather became the first Native American actress to give a brief political speech at the Oscars., On behalf of Marlon Brando. However, during her appearance, the actress and activist suffered from boos and discrimination.
On that occasion, Marlon Brando had won the award for best actor The Godfather, but the actor rejected the award for the erroneous and inaccurate representation that was given to the native Americans in the film industry in that country.
After almost 50 years, The Academy announced that it sent a letter of apology to Sacheen Littlefeather on June 18.since on September 17, the actress and activist will be the protagonist of an event organized by the Academy Museum in Los Angeles.
1973: Native American actor Sacheen Littlefeather boo’d (and cheered) by Hollywood at the Oscars before being mocked by Clint Eastwood and almost physically assaulted by John Wayne simply for asking that Indigenous people not to be dehumanized in film.pic.twitter.com/BgOiuBq4hR
— Rafael Shimunov (@rafaelshimunov) October 11, 2021
“When you took the stage in 1973 to decline to accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando in protest of the film industry’s misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native Americans, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the need for respect and the importance of human dignity,” said David Rubin, current president of the Academy.
Who is Sacheen Littlefeather?
Sacheen Littlefeather is an activist and actress of Apache and Yaqui ancestry, as well as having European ancestry. from his mother’s side, carrying a great cultural diversity. The activist was born on November 14 and grew up in Salinas, California.
It was not until 1973 that Sacheen Littlefeather became known on television when she was only 26 years old., after Marlon Brando became involved in the Amerindian Movement (AIM) in the 1970s, making a decision to make a political statement. Therefore, he looked for a person who would receive the Oscar in his place.
The leaders of the Amerindian Movement, Dennis Banks and Russell Means, elected Sacheen Littlefeather. Brando wrote a 15-page speech for Littlefeather to read at the ceremony.but was rebuffed by the show’s producer, who threatened to have her arrested if she spoke for more than sixty seconds.
In the end, Sacheen Littlefeather’s speech was totally improvised. Then, offstage, she read the entire speech for the press.
Given the recent apology from the Academy, the actress responded to the apology with a statement:
“We natives are very patient people, it’s only been 50 years!” revealed the now 75-year-old woman.
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Reference from www.milenio.com