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Academy Apologizes To Sacheen Littlefeather For Mistreatment at 1973 Oscars

By Jakob Postlewaite Aug 16, 2022 | 12:48 PM

Sacheen Littlefeather at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973, c/o Academy Museum.

A Native American actress has received an apology from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy is apologizing to Native American Rights activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather for her mistreatment at the 45th Academy Awards.

Littlefeather represented actor Marlon Brando at the Awards in 1973 when he declined the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in the now classic film The Godfather.

At the time Littlefeather said Brando would not accept the award due to the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry and to draw attention to the Wounded Knee Occupation in South Dakota.

Her speech was met with boos and applause by the audience. Actor John Wayne was reportedly restrained from rushing the stage by security.

Following her statement at the ceremony, Littlefeather was professionally boycotted, personally attacked, harassed, and discriminated against.

Forty-nine years later, the Academy is now apologizing to Littlefeather for her mistreatment at the ceremony.

They issued the formal statement of apology yesterday along with the news Littlefeather will host a special program for the Academy Museum in September.

“An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather” will celebrate live Native American Indian performances and feature a reading of the formal apology.

The apology was presented privately to Littlefeather in July. She said she never thought she would live to see the day she would receive it.

In the apology, Academy President David Rubin said the abuse Littefeather endured was unwarranted and unjustified, causing irreparable damage to her career, and offered their deepest apologies and admiration.

Sacheen Littlefeather’s full speech during at the 45th Academy Awards on behalf of Marlon Brando.


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