HomeCelebrityWho Was Sacheen Littlefeather? What Was Her Oscar Controversy Involving Marlon Brando?

    Who Was Sacheen Littlefeather? What Was Her Oscar Controversy Involving Marlon Brando?

    Sacheen Littlefeather passed away at the age of 75 on Sunday, October 2. The Native American lady has greatly contributed to how the natives are depicted in films and television shows in the United States. Her death has been mourned by several film fans and activists.

    Littlefeather’s contribution will be felt for generations to come. On her demise, we need to examine who she was along with the Oscar controversy that also involves Marlon Brando. Let’s find out.

    Read More: Why The Academy Apologized To Sacheen Littlefeather For Abusing Her At 1973 Oscars

    Who Was Sacheen Littlefeather?

    Sacheen Littlefeather
    Sacheen Littlefeather

    Born Marie Louise Cruz on November 14, 1946, in Salinas, California, Sacheen’s mother was a leather stamper of French, German, and Dutch descent. Her father of White Mountain Apache and Yaqui descent was also a saddle maker.

    In many interviews, Sacheen talked about how abusive her father was and she, along with her mother and two sisters were subject to his beating. In 1969, during the occupation of Alcatraz Island, Littlefeather got involved in the Native American activist community.

    Wanting to become an actress, she joined the Screen Actors Guild and did various radio and television commercials. She also did modeling for a while in 1973 and protested Richard Nixon’s budget cut to federal Indian programs.

    Some of the films that she did are, ‘The Trial of Billy Jack’, ‘Johnny Firecloud’, ‘Winterhawk’ and ‘Shoot the Sun Down.’ On October 2, Littlefeather passed away at her home in Novato at 75.

    Read More: Why The Academy Awards Are Called Oscars?

    Her Famous 1973 Oscar Speech

    Sacheen accepting the apology
    Sacheen accepting the apology

    In 1973, Marlon Brando won the Academy Award for Best Actor for portraying the mob boss Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather‘. Sacheen was sent on his behalf to boycott the 45th Academy Awards.

    Brando boycotted the ceremony as a protest against Hollywood’s depiction of Native Americans and to draw attention to the standoff at Wounded Knee. Her speech met with a mixed response of booing and applause.

    She had come up with a 15-page letter but was threatened by a producer to be physically removed and arrested if her speech exceeded 60 seconds. Sacheen went on stage, refused the award, and gave a modified speech.

    In June this year, after 49 years of the incident, the Academy Award finally apologized to her at an event named ‘An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather‘. She said, “I am here accepting this apology. Not only for me alone, but as acknowledgment, knowing that it was not only for me but for all of our nations that also need to hear and deserve this apology tonight. Now, I would like all the Indian people in this audience to stand. Look at our people, look at each other and be proud that we stand as survivors, all of us.

    Read More: Will Smith Condemned By Hollywood Stars Over The Shocking Chris Rock Slap During The Live Academy Awards Ceremony


    Trending on FC