Why I Quit Adam Sandler's Movie: Ridiculous Six's Apache Consultant Speaks
By Vincent SchillingLast week, a group of Native actors walked off the set of the Adam Sandler comedy The Ridiculous Six to protest the film's content. One of the key dissenters was Bruce Klinekole, Apache, who had been hired as the film's Native American cultural consultant. Klinekole, whose last name translates as "Catch the Horse," objected to the Netflix production's repeated gross misrepresentations of Apache culture, dangerous bow-and-arrow scenes involving inexperienced actors, and being denied the chance to even speak to Adam Sandler.
After his requests for changes were ignored, 65 year old Klinekole spoke with other Native Elder friends, including David Hill (an actor who ended up joining the walk-off), about what to do. When Klinekole saw four eagles circling above the set, he knew it was a sign to walk off the set.
"I wasn't allowed to talk to a producer and they wouldn't allow me to talk to anybody," Klinekole told ICTMN. "They wouldn't let me do anything. Nothing."
“I said, 'Okay, that's all, I'm going," he continued. "I felt bad for my fellow people who were there but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't say anything on behalf of my Native people or on behalf of my Apache people who were depicted so badly.”
Comment: A brief discussion of the adviser's role:
Klinekole was arguably too naive. I wouldn't walk onto a set with a completed script, props, costumes, etc. and expect them to change everything. If you're not advising from the pre-production stage on, you might as well not bother.I couldn't believe he had to go through a PA--basically a college intern. The lowest rung and she arrogantly denied him access--of course, she had no power to grant him access. I've been a PA and I would have TRIED.
The whole adviser role was obviously a joke. Or maybe it was another of Sandler's attempts at "satire."
They never intended to do anything the adviser said. They should've changed his title to "Fig Leaf for Covering Our Asses" or "Excuse for Giving Our Racism a Pass."The role was designed to have someone to blame. They knew it was horrible, they knew Natives would be upset, so they had him set up as the fall guy, expecting it wouldn't hit the fan until AFTER the film came out, and they could blame him and say, "Hey, we had a cultural advisor!"
For more on Adam Sandler
, see Should Natives Boycott Netflix? #NotYourHollywoodIndian
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