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Remembering Sacheen Littlefeather Native American Activist Who Declined An Oscar On Marlon Brando’s Behalf

October 03, 2022 | by Priyadarshini Malavia

The world hasn’t been kind to a lot of marginalized communities and minorities. One of them is the Native Americans and women. Hence, if there is anyone from these communities who raise their voice against the injustices they face. One of these brave people was Sacheen Littlefeather who not only was a native American activist but also declined the Oscars on behalf of  Marlon Brando. I am sad to announce that this legend passed away at 75 according to the Academy of Motion Pictures.

Littlefeather received an apology from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June for how she was treated that evening at the Oscars. On September 17, Littlefeather went to the Academy Museum to see the apology in person. After giving a one-minute statement on Native American rights on Oscars night in 1973, she was led off stage by security.

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At a subsequent news conference, she was permitted to read her entire address, and the New York Times published it. Her on-camera critics included Raquel Welch, Clint Eastwood, and Oscar co-host Michael Caine. She was chastised for disturbing the ceremony. Littlefeather had said onstage that Brandohas declined the award and the reason for this includes how American Indians are treated in the media, including in movie reruns on television and the events at Wounded Knee.

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Born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, California, Littlefeather developed a passion for Native American concerns in college, joined the Alcatraz Island occupation in 1970, and took on the name Littlefeather as a result. She supposedly met Brando, who was interested in Native American concerns, through Francis Ford Coppola, who like Littlefeather lived in San Francisco, after graduating from college. She then joined SAG. Littlefeather recently discussed her experience representing Brando at the Oscars in an interview with Variety.

Featured Image Credits : Entertainment Weekly

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