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View Diary: Dennis Miller smears a courageous Sacheen Littlefeather on Leno. 39 years later. (177 comments)

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  •  Still, I always thought that a bit strange (5+ / 0-)

    I remember that award ceremony (a strange run of years for the AA's--remember George C. Scott's refusal a year before and the shi*tstorm that the producers of Hearts and Minds caused a couple of years later?).

    The thing that got me was that Brando himself didn't show up, even to be by Littlefeather's side from backstage, to refuse the award.  It was more than a little bit leaving her  hanging her out to be the sole magnet of angry controversy and object of ridicule at the time.  At the time, even amongst those who found merit and righteousness in what Littlefeather said, there was a nagging doubt that Brando may been orchestrating as much of an I'm-going-to-tweak-you-assholes-but-good middle finger to the Academy as it was a reflection of his belief (sincere, to be sure, iirc he had some 20 minute long speech he'd penned for Littlefeather to read and she was told she couldn't) in her Native American cause.  

    I can't ever remember him discussing or contextualizing the refusal later.  Maybe he did, I just don't remember and he wasn't one for interviews...let's be honest here, Marlon Brando was one of the great actors of the 20th century, but one seriously strange dude, who sort of took perverse pleasure in sabotaging his career just for the fun of it on a number of occasions. One can't help but wonder.

    Besides, remember, George C. Scott had refused the Oscar for Patton just a year earlier, in his case out of simple (and stated at the time and since) contempt for the Academy Awards institution and circus.  To that end, the way Brando did this made it seem like more of a "here we go again" eye-roller to those who knew his tendencies, even those for whom the gesture might otherwise have made a more meaningful impact.

    All respect to Sasheen Littlefeather though, for sure, there's no denying she was and is the real deal.

    •  There is a Dick Cavett interview online (8+ / 0-)

      where Brando discusses the Academy Awards incident about three months after it happened. Very interesting.

      And as you pointed out, Brando's self-destructive nature reared its head the very same evening of that interview, where he punched paparazzo Ron Galella in the face, knocking out four of his teeth on one side. Cavett was with Brando at the time, accompanying him to a restaurant after the taping. Cavett talks about the incident on-camera in the documentary about Galella called Smash His Camera - Cavett said something to the effect that after Brando decked the guy, his first thought (directed at Brando) was "you fucking idiot!"

      Smash His Camera was an outstanding documentary, btw.

      You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.
      - Jessica Mitford

      by Swampfoot on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:30:32 PM PST

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      •  That was an extraordinary (4+ / 0-)

        interview ... thank for that link that offers remarkable insight into Brando's association with the American Indian (M)movement of that era.  More broadly, he identified the perpetuated injustice as another form of objectification and commoditization serving the interests of myth, money and white patriarchal privilege.  Fascinating and inspiring.

        The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

        by ancblu on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:28:23 AM PST

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      •  Dick Cavett. Now THERE is a witty, funny guy! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, Swampfoot

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:04:07 AM PST

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