Sacheen Littlefeather, an American actress, model, and Native American civil rights activist, finally got what she deserved after her speech at the 1973 Oscars caused a major scandal.
Littlefeather was Marlon Brando’s representative at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973. She accepted the Best Actress trophy on his behalf for Brando’s work in The Godfather.
Brando, who was expected to win, skipped the ceremony to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans and draw attention to the Wounded Knee conflict. Instead, the audience booed and cheered at her comments on Brando’s decision not to attend.
After delivering her speech at the Oscars, she entered hospice care. She has also directed 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 due to be given in full at An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather on September 17th.
Sacheen Littlefeather’s speech about the John Wayne Oscars scandal in 1973
After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicly apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather for the way she was treated at the 1973 Oscars, there was a lot of talk about John Wayne’s name on Twitter.
Littlefeather, who was head of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee at the time, wore traditional Apache clothing such as a buckskin outfit and moccasins.
She delivered a powerful speech declining the honor of supporting Brando’s protest at Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans. The move was also intended to draw attention to the protests in South Dakota, where 1,890 Native Americans were killed.
The actress responded that she’s glad her abuse is still being talked about nearly 50 years later. In a statement, she said: “This is like a dream.
During Sacheen’s awards ceremony, John Wayne, known for killing Native Americans in films, tried to attack him.
The Oscars board said Littlefeather was sorry 49 years after the event.
It gives me a lot of hope to see how much has changed in the 50 years since I turned down the Oscar. Everyone who will perform tonight makes me very proud.
Littlefeather, who has starred in films like The Laughing Cop, The Trial of Billy Jack and Johnny Firecloud, said she almost got kicked out of the entertainment business for turning down Brando’s Oscar. After her role in “Shoot the Sun Down” in 1978, the Native American activist did not play the same role in any other television show or film.
John Wayne, whose stage name was often Duke, was an American actor who rose to fame as a Hollywood hero for starring in western and wartime films made during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
He appeared in 179 films and television shows during his long and distinguished career, which spanned from American New Wave to the silent era of the 1920s.
For 30 years, The Lowa Born was one of the most popular films in cinemas, and at that time it was starred by many famous Hollywood people. In 1999, the American Film Institute said Wayne was one of the best male actors in old American films.
What did Sacheen Littlefeather and John Wayne do together?
On the night of the 1973 Academy Awards, John Wayne attempted to fight Sacheen Littlefeather.
The Oscars and awards speech can be particularly interesting because they can center around or against some of the most important political events, activities, or concerns about upholding equality in society.
The actor said John Wayne, who plays a cowboy, was upset by what she said. In many of his films he played a cowboy who often fought with native people.
She told The Guardian in 2021 that as she spoke, “he approached me to forcibly pull me off the platform and it took six security guards to stop him.”
What happened at the 1973 Oscars?
Littlefeather spoke briefly to the crowd and then told them that Brando couldn’t get the award because “the film shows how Native Americans are abused today.
The actress said that Brando asked for a lengthy speech to tell her she couldn’t get the friendly prize.
As the favorite to win, Brando is said to have decided to skip the event in protest of the ongoing siege by Indigenous rights protesters in the village of Wounded Knee.
He also didn’t like the way Native Americans were portrayed in American films, which is why he decided against them.