Two days ago, Native American extras on Adam Sandler’s new Netflix movie The Ridiculous Six walked off the set due to the film’s portrayal of Native Americans. In response, Netflix defended the film as a “broad satire” in which those being made fun of are “in on the joke.” So, who’s right? Well, we got our hands on the script, so everyone can judge for themselves.
The version of the script we have is dated December 7, 2012, so it’s possible, if not likely, that some revisions have been made. But several of the examples cited as offensive by the Native actors who walked off the set are present in, and confirmed by, this script.
The film’s main character, presumably played by Sandler, is Tommy (also called “Three Knives”), a white man who was given up by his family and raised by Native Americans. He is married to a Native American woman named—wait for it—Smoking Fox, and the movie follows the two of them as Tommy battles a group of men called the Left-Eye Gang.
The scenes that caused the Native actors to leave the set appear to happen within the first 15 minutes or so of the film. Extra Loren Anthony, who spoke to Indian Country Today, described a scene involving a character named Beaver’s Breath as being particularly irritating to the extras:
“One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s breath. One character says ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath.’ And the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?’”
Here is that part of the film:
Here is the part in which a Native woman squats and pisses while smoking a peace pipe. The extras noted a character named “No Bra” as being a disrespectful parody of Native American names—there is no “No Bra” in the version of the script we have, though it appears as if that character’s original name, “Sits-On-Face,” was even worse.
The film only returns to scenes involving Native Americans intermittently, but nearly every single one features blockheaded riffing on demeaning stereotypes. Here, a character called “Flaming Wolf” lists, in broken English, a bunch of dumb Native American names:
“Peepee” and “teepee” is more or less the level of humor we’re dealing with here:
It’s no surprise, of course, that Adam Sandler has written another movie overflowing with the kinds of jokes that might feel edgy to an 11-year-old who finally understands what sex is. This sort of exchange—in which a white character makes fun of a Native American one to set up a bad boner punchline—is central to the film:
Adam Sandler’s brain is not going to stop producing shitty and corrosive movies, but perhaps sometime soon executives will just stop paying for them.
[photo via Getty]