At the 45th Academy Awards in 1973, Marlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor for his role in The Godfather. However, Brando declined the award, sending an actress and activist named Sacheen Littlefeather in his place.
Littlefeather, a member of the Apache tribe, addressed the audience at the ceremony, stating that Brando was “very regretfully” declining the award due to his protest of Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film. Littlefeather explained that Brando was protesting the “treatment of American Indians today by the film industry” and that he was “appalled at the treatment of American Indians today by the government of the United States of America.”
Littlefeather was met with a mix of reactions from the audience. Some applauded her speech, while others booed and jeered. Despite the mixed reactions, Littlefeather’s speech was a powerful statement about the mistreatment of Native Americans in Hollywood and in the United States.
Brando’s decision to decline the award was a bold move, and it sent a strong message to Hollywood and the world. His decision sparked a conversation about the representation of Native Americans in film and the mistreatment of Native Americans in the United States.
Littlefeather’s speech was a powerful moment in Hollywood history, and it is a reminder of the importance of standing up for what is right. Brando’s decision to decline the award was a brave move, and it is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to stand up for what we believe in.