Allison Young, a Navajo actor and filmmaker, told Indian Country her concerns about the tone of the movie were ignored:

“When I began doing this film, I had an uneasy feeling inside of me and I felt so conflicted,” she said. “I talked to a former instructor at Dartmouth and he told me to take this as finally experiencing stereotyping first hand. We talked to the producers about our concerns. They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.’ I was just standing there and got emotional and teary-eyed. I didn’t want to cry but the feeling just came over me. This is supposed to be a comedy that makes you laugh. A film like this should not make someone feel this way.”

“Nothing has changed,” said Young. “We are still just Hollywood Indians.”

This isn't the first time Sandler's movies have been called out for being, you know, really fucking bad: A.O. Scott's 2004 review of the flop Spanglish called it "a movie that simultaneously idealizes motherhood and demonizes mothers, in a way that smacks both of vengeful antifeminism and racist condescension." In 2014, he pointed out that the Drew Barrymore-featuring equal flop Blended featured "quasi-zoological depiction of Africans as servile, dancing, drum-playing simpletons."

Adam Sandler's entire career has been a slide from the aggressive but mostly benign mediocrity into active terribleness. Will this be his nadir, or will people keep giving him endless amounts of money to assault our eyeballs with racist garbage, bad impressions and female characters so plasticine they could be played by a tub of KY Jelly with lipstick smeared on the lid? Why do I even ask?

Update, 4/24: Vulture got this response from Netflix: "The movie has ridiculous in the title for a reason: because it is ridiculous. 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.” Not all of the cast, it would seem.
Sandler in September 2014. Image via Getty

Contact the author at
Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 67B5 5767 9D6F 652E 8EFD 76F5 3CF0 DAF2 79E5 1FB6