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Jakarta Post

Brando, Wayne and our indigenous peoples

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 8, 2018   /  12:18 pm
Brando, Wayne and our indigenous peoples This undated handout photo obtained April 19, 2018 courtesy of Melissa Ilardo shows a Bajau diver hunting fish underwater using a traditional spear off the islands of Indonesia. (AFP/Melissa Ilardo)

Marlon Brando (1924-2004) and John Wayne (1907-1979) were two of Hollywood’s biggest legends starring in many iconic films.However, politically they were polar opposites. 

Wayne was a conservative Republican, Brando a Democrat, at least officially. His interest was not really in party politics but was more of an activist in race and equality-related issues. In 1973, Brando famously rejected an Oscar awarded for his epic performance in The Godfather. He used the platform to protest the way Native American Indians, the indigenous inhabitants of the United States, were portrayed in films, and even more so the way they were treated in real life. 

In his speech, he wrote, “We were the most rapacious, aggressive, destructive, torturing, monstrous, people who swept from one coast to the other murdering and causing mayhem among the Indians...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.