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Sacheen Littlefeather Accepts Apology From Oscars Over Godfather Protest

The actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather has accepted an apology from the Oscars almost 50 years after she was booed off stage.

In 1973 she took to the stage in a traditional buckskin dress to turn down an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando and then made a speech about the film industry’s mistreatment of Native Americans.

A minute in to her speech she was booed off the stage and for decades was boycotted by the film industry.

However, earlier this year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologised to Littlefeather in a letter and on Saturday at an event in her honour in Los Angeles the 75-year-old was applauded as she took to the stage.

“Well, I made it. It took 50 years,” she said at the event, entitled “An evening with Sacheen Littlefeather” and which featured Native American performances.

She said that when she started to speak the audience booed and some mocked her with the chopping sound of a tomahawk and the whoops of “Indians”.

“Big John Wayne was ready to attack me. He had to be held back by six security guards,” she said.

At the weekend’s event the Academy’s letter of apology was read out: “As you stood on the Oscars stage in 1973 to not accept the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, in recognition of the misrepresentation and mistreatment of Native American people by the film industry, you made a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the necessity of respect and the importance of human dignity,” it said.

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