On April 23, 2015, Vince Schilling of Indian Country Today broke the story, “Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders“. It spread through social media like wildfire and has been discussed on almost every major news network and publication. It has brought the issue of native representation in the media to the forefront and has spurred the creation of a petition calling for the cancellation of the movie at the heart of the controversy, Ridiculous Six.
Megan Red Shirt Shaw, founder of Natives In America, created the hashtag #NotYourHollywoodIndian as a way for natives and allies to show solidarity with the actors who walked off the set and to discuss why the portrayals in the film are both disrespectful and harmful to indigenous communities.
Two days after the #NotYourHollywoodIndian conversation began, Del Schilling, Co-host of Native TrailBlazers Radio Show, created #WalkOffNetflix in response to the statement that Netflix gave in defense of the Ridiculous Six.
“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.”
Many natives and allies have taken to canceling their Netflix accounts in protest of their dismissive statement and support for the film.
Here are just a few of the many tweets that can be found within the #NotYourHollywoodIndian and #WalkOffNetflix discussions:
— Johnnie Jae (@johnniejae) April 27, 2015
We have our own Native media now; we can write our own narrative. We are not powerless as they would have you believe. #WalkoffNetflix
— Emmy Scott (@EmmyNawjoopinga) April 26, 2015
— carotstix (@carotstix) April 27, 2015
News flash: “intent” does not excuse racists from being racist, saying racist words, or perpetuating racism. At all. #WalkoffNetflix
— .:.Mags.:. (@Creekleo) April 27, 2015
— Toby, just Toby (@YurokGuy) April 26, 2015
— RPS (@slow_ro) April 27, 2015
#walkoffnetflix There’s so many issues going on with this: the disproportionate rape statistics of Native women raped by non-Natives…
— Vlad Quigley (@VladQuigley) April 25, 2015