The Academy had officially apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather in the past months for the racism she was exposed to at the 1973 Oscars.
The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which distributes the Oscar awards, came on stage to reject Marlon Brando’s Best Actor Oscar in 1973. Sacheen Littlefeatherannounced that he passed away.
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 production “GodfatherBrando, who won an Oscar for her performance in “, refused to accept the award and asked 26-year-old Sacheen Littlefeather to take the stage for her, highlighting the problems with representation of Native Americans in the film industry.
Littlefeather, an actor who had appeared in several films by then, was threatened by the producer of the ceremony, Howard Koch, saying that he would be arrested by security if his speech exceeded 60 seconds. Littlefeather, who was booed and exposed to racist rhetoric during his speech, later said that John Wayne moved towards the stage to attack him and was stopped by force.
The Academy has formally apologized to Littlefeather over the past months for what happened at the ceremony. In the letter of apology dated June 18, written by then-Academy President David Rubin, the following statements were made: “The abuse you have suffered due to this statement was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you experience and the cost of your own career in our industry are irreparable. The courage you have shown for a very long time has not been accepted. For this. We offer both our deepest apologies and our most sincere admiration.”
Littlefeather, who was invited as the guest of honor to the Native American Celebration Ceremony held at the Academy Museum on September 17, said, “I am here to accept this apology. I need to know that not only me, but all of our nations should hear and deserve this apology tonight.” I knowingly accept it.”