On Wednesday, a group of about a dozen American Indian actors walked off the set of the film over complaints that it contained stereotypical and offensive material, according to Indian Country Today. A cultural adviser also quit the movie, the outlet reported.
Actor Loren Anthony told ICT that the script featured insulting names for Native American characters, such as Beaver's Breath and No Bra. He also said some scenes were disrespectul and inaccurate in their portrayals of American Indian culture, including one with an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe.
Anthony said filmmakers "treated us as if we should just be on the side. When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy."
Starring, produced and co-written by Sandler and directed by his frequent collaborator Frank Coraci, "The Ridiculous Six" is a sendup of western movies that is slated for a Netflix-only release, part of a four-film deal Sandler signed in October. The title of the film is a play on "The Magnificent Seven."
In the wake of criticism of "Ridiculous Six," Netflix released a statement defending the film. "The movie has 'ridiculous' in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous," the company said. "It is a broad satire of Western movies and the stereotypes they popularized, featuring a diverse cast that is not only part of — but in on — the joke."
"Ridiculous Six" isn't the first Sandler film to be criticized for racially insensitive material. His South Africa-set 2014 comedy "Blended" was described by the New Yorker as a film that "harks back to grotesquely racist stereotypes" and by the Guardian as a "blend of skull-scraping tedium and casual racism."