Activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who declined Brando’s Oscar on his behalf, dead at 75

Sacheen Littlefeather, the actor and activist who declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Academy Award for The Godfather on his behalf in an indelible protest of how Indigenous folks in america had been portrayed on display, has died. She was 75.

Littlefeather’s niece, Calina Lawrence, confirmed that she died peacefully on Sunday, surrounded by family members at her Marin County, Calif., dwelling. The trigger was breast most cancers, the household mentioned.

Littlefeather’s look on the 1973 Oscars would change into one of many award present’s most well-known moments. Clad in buckskin costume and moccasins, Littlefeather took the stage when presenter Roger Moore learn Brando’s title because the winner for finest actor.

Talking to the viewers, Littlefeather cited Indigenous stereotypes in movie and the then-ongoing weeks-long protests at Wounded Knee in South Dakota as the explanation for Brando’s absence. She mentioned the actor had written “a really lengthy speech,” however she was restricted by time constraints to temporary remarks.

“I urge presently that I’ve not intruded upon this night and that we are going to sooner or later, our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and generosity,” Littlefeather mentioned, turning into the primary Indigenous American lady to look onstage on the Oscars.

WATCH | Sacheen Littlefeather declines Marlon Brando’s Oscar: 

Though temporary, simple and courteous, Littlefeather’s look was contentious, receiving a mixture of applause and boos from the viewers. Within the years after, she endured appreciable scorn and abuse for her speech, she mentioned.

“I spoke from my coronary heart,” she instructed The Related Press days after the Oscars. “These phrases have been written in blood, maybe my very own blood. I felt about like Christ carrying the load of the cross on his shoulders.”

Solely just lately did the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences formally tackle the remedy Littlefeather acquired following her look. In August, the movie academy apologized to Littlefeather, and two weeks in the past, it held a night of “dialog, therapeutic and celebration” in her honour.

“The abuse you endured due to this assertion was unwarranted and unjustified,” the academy’s president, David Rubin, wrote in a letter to Littlefeather. “The emotional burden you’ve lived by means of and the price to your personal profession in our business are irreparable. For too lengthy the braveness you confirmed has been unacknowledged. For this, we provide each our deepest apologies and our honest admiration.”

Littlefeather responded in an announcement: “We Indians are very affected person folks — it is solely been 50 years!”

“We have to hold our sense of humour about this always,” she added. “It is our methodology of survival.”

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