(LOS ANGELES, CA) — Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American activist that was infamously blacklisted from Hollywood after declining Marlon Brando’s Oscar at the 1973 Academy Awards, passed away at 75.
Littlefeather’s death is marked months after the Academy issued a long-overdue apology on behalf of the harsh backlash she received after protesting the treatment of American Indians in the film industry.
Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who famously declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, dies at 75. pic.twitter.com/OlpsoItlCw
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) October 3, 2022
“The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified,” said former Academy president David Rubin in a letter to the activist. “The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”
Littlefinger spoke on her penultimate death at a celebration hosted in her honor by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, not long before she passed.
“I’m crossing over soon to the spirit world and you know, I’m not afraid to die,” she stated at the celebration. “Please, when I’m gone, always be reminded that whenever you stand up for your truth, you will be keeping my voice, and the voices of our nations, and our people, alive.”