Academy Awards apologises to Sacheen Littlefeather for Marlon Brando Oscars moment

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Nearly 50 years aft Sacheen Littlefeather stood connected the Academy Awards signifier connected behalf of Marlon Brando to talk retired astir the depiction of Native Americans successful Hollywood films, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences apologised to her for the maltreatment she endured.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures connected Monday said that it volition big Littlefeather, present 75, for an evening of “conversation, healing and celebration” successful September.

When Brando won champion histrion for The Godfather successful 1973, Littlefeather, wearing buckskin formal and moccasins, took the stage, becoming the archetypal Native American pistillate ever to bash truthful astatine the Academy Awards. In a 60-second speech, she explained that Brando could not judge the grant owed to “the attraction of American Indians contiguous by the movie industry”.

Some successful the assemblage booed her. Westerns prima John Wayne, who was backstage astatine the time, was reportedly furious and had to beryllium restrained by six information guards.

The 1973 Oscars ceremonial was held during the American Indian Movement’s two-month concern of Wounded Knee successful South Dakota.

In the years since, Littlefeather has said she has been mocked, discriminated against and personally attacked for her little Academy Awards appearance.

In making the announcement, the Academy Museum shared a missive sent to Littlefeather by David Rubin, the academy president, successful June. Rubin called Littlefeather’s code “a almighty connection that continues to punctual america of the necessity of respect and the value of quality dignity”.

“The maltreatment you endured due to the fact that of this connection was unwarranted and unjustified,” wrote Rubin. “The affectional load you person lived done and the outgo to your ain vocation successful our manufacture are irreparable. For excessively agelong the courageousness you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we connection some our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”

Littlefeather, successful a statement, said it is “profoundly heartening to spot however overmuch has changed since I did not judge the Academy Award 50 years ago”.

“Regarding the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are precise diligent radical – it’s lone been 50 years!” said Littlefeather. “We request to support our consciousness of wit astir this astatine each times. It’s our method of survival.”

At the Academy Museum lawsuit successful Los Angeles, Littlefeather volition beryllium for a speech with shaper Bird Runningwater, co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance.

In a podcast earlier this twelvemonth with Jacqueline Stewart, a movie student and manager of the Academy Museum, Littlefeather reflected connected what compelled her to talk retired successful 1973.

“I felt that determination should beryllium Native people, Black people, Asian people, Chicano radical – I felt determination should beryllium an inclusion of everyone,” said Littlefeather. “A rainbow of radical that should beryllium progressive successful creating their ain image.”

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