Sacheen Littlefeather says John Wayne was responsible for “the most violent moment” in Oscars history

Sacheen Littlefeather has opened up about the reaction to her speech at the 1973 Oscars after recently receiving an official apology from the academy board.

At the ceremony, which took place almost 50 years ago, Littlefeather spoke for Marlon Brando after he was recognized as a Best Actor award winner for his work The Godfather.

However, the then 26-year-old actor and activist declined the award on Brando’s behalf and instead gave a speech condemning Hollywood’s poor portrayal of Native Americans.

She also highlighted the events in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, where a massacre of Native Americans took place in 1890 and where protests were ongoing.

Though Littlefeather’s actions were greeted with some supportive noises, others in attendance were upset with her speech. Actor John Wayne tried to approach her on stage but was reluctant.

In August, the Academy Board of Directors apologized to Littlefeather.

In a new interview, Littlefeather said that while she didn’t realize what Wayne was doing at the time, she believes he was responsible for the “most violent moment” in Oscars history.

“I found out that six security guards stopped him from attacking me while I was on that stage,” she said diversity. “It was the most violent moment ever at the Oscars.”

Sacheen Littlefeather at the 1973 Oscars


Littlefeather clarified that she had learned of Wayne’s reaction from a security guard and continued, “He was never admonished by the academy. It was never released to the press. But the most violent moments happened then and there at the John Wayne Academy Awards.”

After her speech, Littlefeather was largely blacklisted by Hollywood. Despite this, she found that she harbored no ill will toward anyone.

“All I know is that … I have no anger, hatred or animosity towards anyone, including the Academy and the John Waynes of the world,” she said.

“I’m not a wealthy person. i am a poor person I don’t have much, but I do what I can. I try not to judge others. So what other people want to do and what they feel in their heart, they have to do.” Sacheen Littlefeather says John Wayne was responsible for “the most violent moment” in Oscars history


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