Sacheen Littlefeather, an American actress, model and civil rights activist for Native Americans, finally got what she deserved after her 1973 Oscar speech caused a huge outrage.
Littlefeather was Marlon Brando’s representative at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973. She won Best Actor for Brando’s work in The Godfather on his behalf.
Brando, who was expected to win, skipped the ceremony to protest the way Native Americans are portrayed in Hollywood and to draw attention to the Wounded Knee dispute. Instead, the audience booed and applauded his comments about Brando’s decision not to attend.
After giving her Oscar speech, she went to work in hospice care. She has also made films about Native Americans and still works as an activist for Native American health and rights.
In June 2022, the model received an official apology from the Academy. It was to be given in full on September 17 at An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather.
Sacheen Littlefeather’s speech on the 1973 John Wayne Oscar scandal
After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicly apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather for the way she was treated at the 1973 Oscars, John Wayne’s name began to make headlines on Twitter.
Littlefeather, who headed the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee at the time, was dressed in traditional Apache clothing like buckskin attire and moccasins.
She gave a powerful speech in which she declined the honor of supporting Brando’s protest against the way Native Americans are portrayed in Hollywood. The move was also intended to draw attention to protests in South Dakota where Native Americans were killed in 1890.
The performer replied that she was happy his abuse was still talked about almost 50 years later. In a statement, she said: “It’s like a dream.
During Sacheen’s award speech, John Wayne, known for killing Native Americans in movies, tried to attack him.
The Oscars board said they were sorry for Littlefeather 49 years after the event.
It gives me great hope to see how much that has changed in the 50 years since I turned down the Oscar. All those who will perform tonight make me very proud.
Littlefeather, who starred in films like ‘The Laughing Cop’, ‘The Trial of Billy Jack’ and ‘Johnny Firecloud’, said she was nearly kicked out of the entertainment business because she refused the job. Oscar deBrando. Thus, after her role in Shoot the Sun Down in 1978, the Native American activist did not play the same role in another television show or another film.
John Wayne, whose stage name was often Duke, was an American actor who rose to fame as a Hollywood hero due to his starring roles in westerns and war films made during the Golden Age of Hollywood .
During his long and successful career, which spanned from the American new wave to the silent era of the 1920s, he starred in 179 films and television shows.
For 30 years, The Lowa Born was one of the most popular films in theaters, and it featured many famous Hollywood people of the time. In 1999, the American Film Institute declared Wayne to be one of the best male actors in old American movies.
What did Sacheen Littlefeather and John Wayne do together?
On the night of the 1973 Oscars, John Wayne attempted to fight Sacheen Littlefeather.
The Academy Awards and the awards speech can be particularly interesting because they can relate to or against some of the most important political events, activities or concerns about maintaining equal rights in society.
The actor said John Wayne, who plays a cowboy, was upset by what she said. In several of his films, he played a cowboy who often fought with the natives.
She told the Guardian in 2021 that as she spoke, “he was coming towards me to drag me off the platform, and it took six security guards to stop him”.
What happened at the Oscars in 1973?
Littlefeather briefly addressed the crowd and then told them that Brando couldn’t get the award because “The movie shows how American Indians are being mistreated today.
The actress said Brando asked for a long speech to tell her she couldn’t get the award.
As the favorite to win, Brando reportedly decided to skip the event to protest the ongoing siege by native rights protesters in the village of Wounded Knee.
He also disliked the way Native Americans were portrayed in American movies, which made him decide against them.