Over the years, we have had plenty of shocking award show moments, but the one that arguably got it all started was Marlon Brando’s refusal of his Oscar for his role in The Godfather in 1973.
Instead, Brando sent a Native American woman named Sacheen Littlefeatherto go up on stage, decline the award, and then speak on the abuse and misrepresentation of Native Americans in Hollywood.
Host Clint Eastwood came on stage afterwards and had some sly remarks towards Littlefeather, 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.”
However, that wasn’t the wildest part of the night.
According to Littlefeather, and it is still very much disputed to this day, John Wayne had to be physically restrained by six security guards because he was trying to run up on the stage and confronting her… Kanye West style.
“During my presentation, he was coming towards me to forcibly take me off the stage, and he had to be restrained by six security men to prevent him from doing so.”
Joe Rogan and his guest Brian Simpson were discussing the memorable moment on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.
Rogan first set up the story:
“Marlon Brando, when he won the Academy Award, did not accept the Academy Award and instead had a Native American woman go up there and accept the award.
And it turns out that she wasn’t really Native American. She was fake.”
Though that is pretty shocking, how it was discovered that she apparently was not Native American is even more unbelievable.
“Her f**king sister ratted her out…she was faking (being) Native American. She just made it up. She changed her name, the whole deal. Sacheen Littlefeather. She just called herself Littlefeather.
Imagine your sister is crazy, and you hate your sister and you are always fighting, and then one day you see (her) at the Oscars telling everybody she’s an Indian.”
So a family member is the one who ultimately broke the news to everyone that she and her sister did not have any Native American heritage. The whole thing is hard to digest, especially considering that Littlefeather gave a pretty impassioned speech at the Oscars as she refused the award on behalf of Brando.
The Joe Rogan Experience played the first portion of the speech, in which Sacheen says:
“Hello, my name is Sacheen Littlefeather. I’m Apache, and I’m the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image committee.
I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you a very long speech which I cannot share with you presently because of time…
He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, and the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television and move reruns.”
Joe Rogan and Brian Simpson then go on to read information revealing that Sacheen Littlefeather was “outed” following her death, and it is believed that she did not have any Native American heritage and fabricated her entire story.
You can listen to their conversation below:
And if you would like to listen to the entire acceptance speech, which the Academy apologized to Sasheen for (or whatever her actual name is) due to the audience booing her, you can view the shocking Oscars moment here: