Sacheen Littlefeather, who endured racist mockery and threats of arrest and violence when she appeared on Marlon Brando’s behalf on the 1973 Oscars and declined his award for Greatest Actor, has died on the age of 75.
In response to Selection, Littlefeather handed away Sunday, October 2nd, following a battle with breast most cancers.
As president of the Nationwide Native American Affirmative Picture Committee, Littlefeather stood in for Brando to protest the mistreatment of American Indians within the movie business. Moments earlier than she took the stage, ceremony producer Howard Koch advised her that she can be arrested if she talked for longer than 60 seconds. Throughout her speech, she was mocked with tomahawk chops and ululation, and John Wayne reportedly needed to be restrained from charging the rostrum and attacking her.
“[Brando] very regretfully can’t settle for this very beneficiant award,” Littlefeather stated, improvising as a result of she didn’t have time to learn Brando’s eight pages of ready remarks. “And the explanations for this being are the therapy of American Indians in the present day by the movie business [audience boos] – excuse me – and on tv in film reruns, and likewise with latest happenings at Wounded Knee.” This was a reference to the American Indian Actions occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which was unknown to most People as a result of the US Division of Justice had imposed a media blackout.
Earlier this 12 months, the Academy issued a proper apology to Littlefeather for her therapy on the Oscars. “The abuse you endured due to this assertion was unwarranted and unjustified,” Academy president David Rubin wrote to Littlefeather in a June 18th letter. “The emotional burden you’ve lived by way of and the price to your personal profession in our business are irreparable. For too lengthy the braveness you confirmed has been unacknowledged. For this, we provide each our deepest apologies and our honest admiration.”