When Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock across the face at last year’s Oscars for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, it was one immediately one of the wildest moments in Academy Awards history.
A close second was that happened at the Academy Awards way back in 1973.
Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American woman who claimed to the Apache President of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar for his role in The Godfather on his behalf, so she could speak about the bad image that Hollywood gave Native Americans in film.
During her brief speech, she was met with a mixture of applause and boos, and John Wayne was allegedly backstage having to be restrained by security from running out on stage.
Clint Eastwood, who was hosting that night, also responded to Littlefeather’s speech immediately after, saying:
“I don’t know if I should present this award on behalf of all the cowboys shot on all the John Ford westerns in the theaters.”
It took the Oscars 50 years, but recently, they apologized to Littlefeather for the negative response she received from the crowd, John Wayne, and Eastwood, along with getting blacklisted from Hollywood.
However, shortly after the apology, she passed away this past October of breast cancer at the age of 75.
Although, since her passing, there has been a shocking revelation regarding Littlefeather…
According to her family, she’s not Native American at all (Hispanic and European heritage), and that’s not even her actual name, it’s Marie Louise Cruz.
Her sister, Rosalind Cruz, recently spoke out against the Oscars including her in the memoriam this year, due to her lies.
“They will include her because they need to keep covering up for themselves. They’re endorsing a Pretendian and keep pushing the lie and slander of our family and they don’t care.”
After her death, her sisters, both Rosalind Cruz and Trudy Orlandi, blasted their own sister as an “ethnic fraud,” who completely fabricated her history to lie her way into Hollywood.
“What’s the Academy going to go? Are they going to continue trying to save face and brush this all underneath the rug? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
I don’t think she should be mentioned at all – period. It’s fraudulent and has no bearing in truth. The only thing she could be mentioned as is a woman who refused an Oscar for Marlon Brando who called herself Sacheen Littlefeather, but was not of Native American heritage.”
Cruz said that she and her family watched the Oscars that year from their home in rural Salinas, California in disbelief.
Cruz and Orlandi also want the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to remove their tribute of their sister from their museum in Los Angeles:
“We request that the Academy immediately cease and desist from lionizing or perpetuating the myth of Sacheen Littlefeather. Any tribute to her must be removed to protect our family and the public from the continued sham.”
The sisters are now looking for an attorney to possibly take legal action. Both say that they’ve received online harassment after the exposure of their sister’s actual heritage.
“Now all her slander is coming back to us. I don’t really care what they say about me, but it does affect my sister [Orlandi, 72]. It’s a horror story to us, as a family.”
An Academy Museum spokesperson has declined to comment on the situation.
Cruz also added that even after sending letters, they haven’t received a response:
“No, of course not. These people have no moral compass. It’s an insult to Native Americans, and the Academy is endorsing somebody they know is a fraud.”
Join the @AcademyMuseum's 'An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather' livestream for a special celebration of live Native American performances including a long awaited statement of apology from the Academy.