The Academy has apologized 50 years later to a Native American actress and activist who was booed at the 1973 Academy Awards.
Sasheen Littlefeather then took to the stage at the awards ceremony to explain why her co-star Marlon Brando didn’t come to accept the statuette for best actor for The Godfather. Addressing the crowd, she said he refused to accept the award because of Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans.
As she explained this, the actress was booed, and then she shared that security prevented actor John Wayne from physically assaulting her.
“The insults you received for this statement were unwarranted and misplaced. The emotional burden you have had to bear because of what happened, costing you your own career in our industry, is irreparableDavid Rubin, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the time, wrote in a letter to the actress.
“For a long time, the courage you showed was not recognized. For this we offer you our sincerest apologies and express our sincerest admiration for you“, the letter said.
It was released by the Academy as it announced that Sasheen Littlefeather has been invited to speak at the Oscars Museum in Los Angeles on September 17.
“We Indians are very patient people. It’s only 50 years“, Littlefather reacted to the letter from the film academy, which is 75 years old today, BTA reports. “We must keep our sense of humor on this case at all times. It’s our way of surviving” she declared. She added that she was glad that so much had changed since she didn’t accept the Oscar half a century ago.