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In 1973, when he won an Oscar for his acting in The Godfather, Marlon Brando rejected the award to protest the treatment of Native Americans by the American film industry. He asked Sacheen Littlefeather, an actress that he knew through activist circles, to make a statement on his behalf onstage. The producer of the Oscars threatened to have her arrested if she spoke for more than 60 seconds, so she could only deliver a snippet of the speech (the full text is here). Ironically, Littlefeather says that this speech caused her to be boycotted by Hollywood; she didn’t act professionally again. Today she’s a civil rights activist in Northern California.

-AA

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