Sacheen Littlefeather stunned Hollywood when she was sent on behalf of Marlon Brando to reject her Oscar for Best Actor in 1973 in “The Godfather”. Almost 50 years later, the Native American actress opened up about how this astonishing move ended her career.
The 74-year-old is the subject of a new documentary titled “Sacheen: Breaking The Silence”, which details the famous political speech and its aftermath.
At the time, Littlefeather, chairman of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, said the actor could not accept the award because of “the treatment of American Indians today by the film and television industry. in movie reruns “.
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“I beg you at this time not to have meddled with this evening, and that… in the future, our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and generosity,” added Littlefeather, rejecting the Oscar of Brando.
Littlefeather, an Apache from White Mountain, said Brando was “thrilled” by the performance, which was a protest he supported over the film industry’s portrayal of Native Americans, Deadline reported Monday. However, Littlefeather claimed that she felt “abandoned” by Brando when she was faced with an intense reaction. As a result, Littlefeather alleged that she had been “blacklisted” by Hollywood and never worked again.
“It was the first time anyone had made a political statement at the Oscars,” Littlefeather said in the documentary, as quoted by the outlet. “It was the first Oscars to be broadcast by satellite worldwide, which is why Marlon chose it. I didn’t have an evening gown so Marlon told me to wear my buckskin. . “
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According to Littlefeather, she could “hear the boos and taunts” when she took the stage.
“I later learned that six security guards had to hold back John Wayne, who was backstage and wanted to storm the stage and train me,” she said.
The outlet said after the speech Littlefeather visited Brando’s house.
“He told me that I had done a great job,” she said.
However, Littlefeather admitted the praise was bittersweet.
“I was on the blacklist – or, you could say, ‘redlisted’,” she explained. “I was ostracized everywhere I turned. No one listened to my story or gave me the chance to work.
Brando died in 2004 at the age of 80.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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