Native American Actors Walk Off Adam Sandler Set in Protest

Netflix defends film as "a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized"

Adam Sandler in the press room at The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California on January 7th, 2015. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

Netflix has defended Adam Sandler and his upcoming movie The Ridiculous Six after roughly a dozen Native Americans actors and actresses, as well as the film's Native cultural adviser, walked off the New Mexico set, claiming the script was offensive and disrespectful, Deadline reports.

Per Indian Country Today Media Network, the performers, who were primarily from the Navajo nation, took issue with jokes that insulted native women (characters were given names like Beaver's Breath and No Bra) and misrepresented Apache culture (one shot called for a woman to be simultaneously urinating and smoking a peace pipe). Others also pointed out that everything from the costumes to the positioning of feathers on a teepee was inaccurate, if not inappropriate.

While neither Sandler nor anyone from his production company, Happy Madison, have commented on the incident so far, a spokesperson for Netflix said: "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."

Those that walked off the Ridiculous Six set said they received similar, if not more curt, responses from producers after voicing their concerns. David Hill, a 74-year-old man of Choctaw descent, compared their arguments to those Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder uses to defend the team's outdated name, while Allison Young, Navajo, told ICTMN: "They just told us, 'If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.' I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. I didn’t want to cry but the feeling just came over me. This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way."

The Ridiculous Six was co-written by Sandler and Tim Herlihy, and directed by Frank Coraci. Sandler also stars in the film alongside Nick Nolte, Terry Crews, Steve Buscemi, Will Forte, Luke Wilson, Whitney Cummings and Vanilla Ice. The Ridiculous Six is the first of four Sandler films Netflix will premiere following an exclusive deal struck last year between Happy Madison and the streaming service.