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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Brando

Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Apologizes To Sacheen Littlefeather 50 Years Later

By The Big Magazine Staff

Nearly 50 years ago, Sacheen Littlefeather (Apache/Yaqui/AZ) receives the apology she deserves from the Academy for being heckled and booed at the 1973 Oscars for declining Marlon Brando’s Oscar for Best Actor in “The Godfather.”

Following the ceremony, Littlefeather was “professionally boycotted, personally attacked and harassed, and discriminated against.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to host an “evening of conversation and healing” to offer a thoughtful discussion surrounding the incident with Littlefeather at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Museum in Los Angeles.

“An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather” intends to encourage reflection on that historic evening at the Oscars in 1973, and focus on a” future founded on healing and celebration.”

The program will include a land acknowledgement courtesy of Virginia Carmelo (Tongva/So. CA), a reading of the Academy’s letter of apology, Native American Indian performances, and a conversation between Littlefeather and Academy Member, producer, and co-chair of the Academy’s Indigenous Alliance Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache/NM).

In June, David Rubin, president of the Academy, acknowledged the mistreatment of Littlefeather.

“You made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity,” Rubin wrote. “The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long, the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”

“You are forever respectfully engrained in our history,” he penned.

An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather is a free event and will take place on Sept. 17. For tickets, head here.

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