The Academy of FILM Arts and Sciences apologized to the Native American activist and actor Sacheen Littlefeather, almost 50 years after was met with disrespect and harassment as she declined Marlon Brandos Oscar.
In 1973, Littlefeather became the initial person to create a political statement at the Oscars ceremony. When Brando was announced because the best actor winner for his role in The Godfather, Littlefeather took the stage to createa robust and poignant statementconcerning the depiction of Native Americans in the entertainment industry.
Duringher speech, Littlefeather was applauded and booed. She recently claimed within an interview withA.frame, the academys digital magazine, that John Wayne physically assaulted her and took her off the stage.
In June, David Rubin, the former president of the Academy of FILM Arts and Sciences,issued an apologyto Littlefeather for just how she was treated.
I write for you today a letter that is quite a long time coming with respect to the Academy of FILM Arts and Sciences, with humble acknowledgment of one’s experience at the 45th Academy Awards, said Rubins letter, that was published online Monday. As you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 never to accept the Oscar with respect to Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people by the film industry, you made a robust statement that continues to remind us of the need of respect and the significance of human dignity.
The abuse you endured for this reason statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you have lived through and the price to your personal career inside our industry are irreparable, the statement continued partly. For too much time the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. Because of this, you can expect both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.
Furthermore, the academy announced that it’ll host An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather, a conversation with Littlefeather about reflection, healing and celebration, on Sept.17.
Littlefeather said the apology was overdue.
Concerning the Academys apology if you ask me, we Indians have become patient people its only been 50 years! We have to keep our love of life about this all the time. Its our approach to survival, she said in a news release. I never thought Id live to start to see the day because of this program to occur, featuring such wonderful Native performers and Bird Runningwater, a television and film producer who also guided the Sundance Institutes commitment to Indigenous filmmakers for two decades through the Institutes Labs and Sundance Film Festival.
It is a dream become a reality. It really is profoundly heartening to observe how much has changed since i have didn’t accept the Academy Award 50 years back. I’m so pleased with every single person who can look on stage, she added.
The function was programmed by Littlefeather and made by the Academy Museums vice president of education and public engagement, Amy Homma. It will add a reading of the academys letter of apology, Native American performances and special guests.