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A version of this story first appeared in the May 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
While critics have been pointing to the dozen or so Native American extras who have walked off Adam Sandler‘s Ridiculous Six set, citing offensive scenarios, others close to the production say the makeup department also has been rife with unease.
According to an on-set pro, members of the makeup team have been darkening actors of various ethnicities (including black and Asian talent) to make them appear Native American.
One of the actors, Allison Young, confirmed to MSNBC that makeup was used on talent. “I’m full-blooded Navajo and they bronzed me. I was quite confused,” Young told the network. “That says something when the cultural advisor for the film quits because he’s offended.”
Netflix did not return a request for comment as of press time. The company did, however, release a statement when the controversy first made headlines, offering, “The movie has ‘ridiculous’ in the title for a reason — because it’s ridiculous. It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke.”
Since then, a cellphone video shot on the set has surfaced online. In the video, an unnamed producer can be overheard telling extras, “If you are overly sensitive about it, then you should probably leave.”
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Jon M. Chu