50-year-delayed apology from Academy to Sacheen Littlefeather for rejecting Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando

The Oscar Academy has announced that it has officially apologized to Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather, who half a century ago refused to accept the world’s most prestigious film award on behalf of famous actor Marlon Brando.

Brando, who was awarded the ‘Best Actor Award’ for his success in the role of “The Godfather” in 1973, did not attend the ceremony, and Littlefeather, who represented him, announced to the world on live broadcast why Brando refused the award.

Littlefeather took the stage in a deerskin dress and loafer shoes, becoming the first Native American woman to do so at the Academy Awards. In his 60-second speech, he explained that Brando had turned down the award because of “the film industry’s treatment of Native Americans today.”

The speech of the actress, whose ancestry goes back to Apache and Yaki Indians, received a great response in the hall and was booed for a long time. Littlefeather later said that the attempt by John Wayne, one of the famous actors of “cowboy” movies, to physically attack him that night was blocked by security.

In an apology letter from Oscar Academy President David Rubin, sent to the actress last June, it said the insults Littlefeather was subjected to that night were “unjustified and unwarranted” and said “The emotional burden you have inflicted and the cost to your own career in our industry cannot be compensated”. Underlining that the actor’s courage was “ignored” for a long time, Oscar Academy said, “For this, we offer you both our deepest apologies and our most sincere admiration.”

“It’s only been 50 years”

The Academy letter was announced after Sacheen Littlefeather was invited to speak at the Academy Awards Museum in Los Angeles on September 17. The 75-year-old actress, whose opinions were taken about the letter, said, “We Indians are very patient. Look, it’s only been 50 years.” She emphasized that it is important to always keep her sense of humor, adding: (Humor) This is our way of survival. It’s heartening to see how much has changed since I didn’t accept the Oscar 50 years ago.”

The Oscar Awards Museum, which opened its doors last September, is taking important steps towards addressing the “troubled history” of the film industry, from the racism that cast a shadow on “Gone with the Wind” to the recent controversy over the underrepresentation of women and minorities. A special place in the museum is reserved for the events of the eventful night in 1973.

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