Sacheen Littlefeather recounts blacklisting, assassination attempts

Sacheen Littlefeather, was sent to the 1973 Oscars by Marlon Brando to protest the film industry's treatment of Native Americans. Speaking to TV critics Thursday, Sacheen Littlefeather says that the US government discouraged Hollywood from hiring her.

Chris Pizzello/AP
Activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather, a subject of the PBS special 'Reel Injun,' takes part in a panel discussion about the show at the PBS Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Thursday.

Sacheen Littlefeather says she paid a price when she decried Hollywood's stereotyped portrayal of Native Americans at the 1973 Oscars.

Littlefeather, who was sent by Marlon Brando to decline his best-actor award for "The Godfather," says her high-profile advocacy put her life at risk and cut her acting career short.

She says when she visited Brando after the ceremony, bullets were fired at his front door. No one was injured.

Littlefeather, who went on to appear in just a handful of films, also claims the U.S. government encouraged the entertainment industry to avoid hiring her as part of its effort to quash Native American activism.

She spoke Thursday during a presentation to TV critics on "Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian," a documentary airing in November on the "Independent Lens" series.


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