The Academy has sent a formal apology to Sacheen Littlefeather for the mistreatment she received at the 1973 Oscars.
During the 1973 Academy Awards, the Native American actress and Civil Rights Activist was booed…
This comes as Littlefeather took the stage in place of Marlon Brando and, at his request, declined his award, and used the time to draw attention to the stereotyping of Native Americans in film and TV as well as the South Dakota Wounded Knee protest.
“[Brando] very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, Littlefeather said on the now-historic night. “And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry,”
However, the Academy President, David Rubin, has now written a reconciliation statement to Littlefeather and published it on the Academy website on Monday.
The statement reads: “The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified.”
It continued: “The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long, the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”
The Academy further acknowledged the consequences Littlefeather had to endure in her personal and professional life.
The Academy president wrote: “As a result, Sacheen was professionally boycotted, personally harassed and attacked, and discriminated against for the last fifty years.”
In response, Littlefeather said: “Regarding the Academy’s apology to me, we Indians are very patient people—it’s only been 50 years!”
“This is a dream come true. It is profoundly heartening to see how much has changed since I did not accept the Academy Award 50 years ago,” she said.
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