Confrontational, Inspired, Mental, WizDom

Marlon Brando on minorities

That time Marlon Brando boycotted the Oscars to protest Hollywood’s diversity issues…

from the post in Newsweek by Ryan Bort, 23 Jan 2016.

Brando was nominated for his portrayl of Vito Corleone (The Godfather). Attending on his behalf was Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather. She took the stage in traditional garb and refused the statuette from Roger Moore, explaining that Brando “very regrettfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being…are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”

She was booed

Watch it here on YouTube

Later, in an interview Brando commented:

“I felt there was an opportunity, since the American Indian hasn’t been able to have his voice heard anywhere in the history of the United States, I thought it was a marvelous opportunity to voice his opinion to 85 million people. I felt that he had a right to, in view of what Hollywood has done to him.”

He continued to address Hollywood’s treatment of minorities:

“I don’t think people realize what the motion picture industry has done to the American Indian, and a matter of fact, all ethnic groups. All minorities. All non-whites. People just simply don’t realize. They took it for granted that that’s the way people are going to be presented, and that these cliches were just going to be perpetuated. So when someone makes a protest of some kind and says, ‘No, please don’t present the Chinese this way.’ … On this network, you can see silly renditions of human behavior. The leering Filipino houseboy, the wily Japanese or the kook or the gook. The idiot black man, the stupid Indian. It goes on and on and on, and people don’t realize how deeply these people are injured by seeing themselves represented—not the adults, who are already inured to that kind of pain and pressure, but the children. Indian children, seeing Indians represented as savage, ugly, vicious, treacherous, drunken—they grow up only with a negative image of themselves, and it lasts a lifetime.”


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