Movies probably are not for you

Surprise surprise, comedy that aims at the frat boy crowd turns out to be so obnoxious (aka racist and sexist) that actors actually walk off the set. Surprise surprise, it’s an Adam Sandler movie.

Nearly a dozen Native American actors and a cultural adviser walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie that’s currently filming because of depictions they found insulting, according to a report by Indian Country Today Media Network.

Actor Loren Anthony said the script, penned by Sandler and his longtime screenwriting partner Tim Herlihy, was insulting to Native women and elders and inaccurately portrayed Apache culture. He said the actors, who were supposed to be playing Apache men and women, were made up to resemble Comanches. Anthony and David Hill were among the actors who walked off the set Wednesday.

Hey it was a joke. Can’t you take a joke? Can’t anybody take a joke?

The film, part of Sandler’s four-picture deal with Netflix, is supposed to be a send-up of “The Magnificent Seven.” It reportedly included characters named “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra” and included a scene with an Apache woman “squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe.”

“There were about a dozen of us who walked off the set,” Anthony, who is Navajo, told ICMTN. “I was asked a long time ago to do some work on this and I wasn’t down for it. Then they told me it was going to be a comedy, but it would not be racist. So I agreed to it but on Monday things started getting weird on the set.”

How is that possible when they said it would not be racist? Surely they didn’t lie about it. Surely they’re not clueless about what’s racist. Surely they’re not marinated in a culture that thinks it’s funny to shit on people who aren’t like them. Surely.

Multiple people, including hair and makeup artist Goldie Tom, told reporter Vincent Shilling that they implored the film’s producers and director to make changes. But those requests seemed to fall on deaf ears.

“We talked to the producers about our concerns,” said Allison Young, a Navajo filmmaker and actress. “They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.’

Quite right too. Movies probably are not for you. #MPANFY

This is hardly the first time Sandler has faced criticism for inaccurate and stereotypical depictions of racial minorities in his movies.

Writing for the New Yorker, critic Richard Brody called “Blended,” Sandler’s 2014 comedic effort co-starring Drew Barrymore, “grotesquely offensive”:

No sooner do the families arrive at the resort than the obliviously trivializing depictions of black people, based on long-superseded stereotypes, begin. The Friedmans get out of their limo and are greeted by the hotel’s staff, all black, starting with a singing group, called Thathoo (pronounced “Tattoo”). The group leader’s eye-rolling and glad-handing, his lubriciously insinuating and exaggeratedly jiving, all seem to be taken straight from a minstrel show. And, throughout the movie, the group pops up like a Greek chorus to underline the action. There’s also an obsequious greeter whose exaggerated ingratiations would shame the hospitality business. Though his malapropisms are ultimately seen to be a canny joke, his manner is never anything but grinningly servile. And there’s an elderly slacker, sleeping on the job and avoiding responsibility, whose lazy ways are a monstrous and venerable cliché.

Yes but if you’re in the frat boy crowd, that stuff is hilarious. If you can’t handle that, #MPANFY


  1. screechymonkey says

    One of the funnier things to come out of the Sony email leaks was the revelation that even some Sony execs were embarrassed to be putting out Sandler films. And it takes a lot to embarrass a studio exec.

  2. says

    Adam Sandler is to acting as M. Night Shyamalan is to directing. Both had brief popularity and critical success, then waste years and millions of studio dollars making junk film after junk film, never clueing to the fact that they were one-hit wonders and will never have another. And both become ever more infuriating and annoying as they refuse to go away.

  3. says

    Somewhat related: I was listening to a radio show the other day and a spokeswoman for some of the First Peoples explained that the term “Squa” was Algonquin for ‘cunt’ and that most of us who grew up taught that term were perpetuating a long-standing insult started by the puritans. I was simultaneously pissed off and horrified; fortunately it’s not a word I’d have much cause to use but — thank you, American education system! (I’m mentioning this in case any of you also were indoctrinated with the same mistake)

  4. Al Dente says

    Marcus Ranum @3

    I didn’t know that. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised.

    <adjusts vocabulary>

  5. screechymonkey says

    Here are some examples of the fine, good-natured humor of this motion picture.

    Really, one has to bow to the comic genius shown by such gems as “how about we go somewhere and I put my peepee in your teepee.”

  6. John Horstman says

    Fucking phones: I just lost my better-formatted, better-elucidated response. Anyway…

    @Marcus Ranum #3: It looks like that’s a myth, much like the feminist myth about the sexist origins of “rule of thumb” (I researched the latter for a Women’s Studies class and the origin of the myth is a colonial American judge citing a non-existant English statute). See here – – and Wiki has a number of sources as well (phone browser is completely broken, look up “squaw” yourself). In my lost comment, I linked the trajectory of the term from neutral or positive self descriptor to epithet to that of “negro” or “tranny”, and cited this as one of the better examinations of the usage of the latter for anyone curious about its origins and evolution (it’s consistent with analyses I read in LGBT history courses):

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