"UNITED NATIVE AMERICA"
for boycott of new TV shows
Native Hawaiian Community outraged over
biased casting of new television shows
being filmed in Hawaii
Two new network TV shows based in Hawaii are set to air this fall, and neither
production is making much of an effort to cast Hawaiian actors in the feature
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. Brando, who played Grand Inquisitor
Torquemada, said the finished film did not show the explorer's role in the
"genocidal obliteration" of Indians.
United Native America, a national group, is calling for a boycott of the
upcoming NBC television show called Hawaii, as well as a boycott of the soon to
air ABC television show called Lost. Each of these new shows are being filmed in
Hawaii, and both of them will air this fall. We are calling on advertising
sponsors to boycott these programs because not one Native Hawaiian is part of
the main cast of either show.
Fox Television Network is also filming a new TV show in Hawaii for their fall
line-up called North Shore. Among the shows main cast of 8 actors, one is half
Hawaiian, and the remaining cast members have no Hawaiian blood at all! And it's
not as though the network made an effort to locate and audition Hawaiian actors
for the parts. In fact, most of the main cast members are new to acting, with
little to no time on-screen. The same goes for the other two series.
United Native America gives NBC, ABC and Fox each a D for effort. Their actions
fall far short of what the network could have done, and should have done to
promote Native Hawaiian actors careers. Once again, national television networks
have passed up a great opportunity to bring Native Hawaiian and America Indian
actors into their industry. Each year the national television networks say they
are committed to diversity in their programming, and one would think that out of
three new shows being filmed in Hawaii, the networks would include more than one
Native Hawaiian actor in their main casts. When we see old westerns, featuring
white actors in the American Indian roles, we think it looks absurd, and
moreover that it was wrong for Hollywood with all of its influence and power to
not only misrepresent Native cultures, but to insult them by casting whites in
the Indian roles. Now, even at the dawn of a new age, mainstream media seems to
have learned nothing from past mistakes, and continues to by-pass Native peoples
like so much fodder.
The new shows look like Hawaii, sounds like Hawaii, but you will have to look in
the background of the shots to see Native Hawaiians, if any. While having
three TV shows filmed in Hawaii will bring in much needed money for the state,
Native Hawaiian actors will have to take a back seat to the typical Hollywood
casting of a White Man, White Women, or African American in roles that should be
reserved for, or given consideration to, Native Hawaiians.
The last big TV show to film in Hawaii was Magnum PI, Which included a main cast
of three White men and one African American man. Magnum PI aired for the better
part of a decade, and a Native Hawaiian was never cast in a main role.
By and large, Hollywood has neglected to cast Native American actors in film
roles, essentially excluding them from the eyes, hearts and minds of mainstream
society. This discrimination, deliberate or not, against Native actors
undermines Native cultures and perpetuates the seclusion and exclusion of
American Indians and Native Hawaiians from the larger population.
Hollywood repeatedly shows that it only wants Native Americans portrayed in
ancillary roles, or as background props to create atmosphere in a western or
For a short time, Hollywood had to stop portraying Native Americans only as bad
guys or as they are too-often called Savages. But NBC Hawaii doesn't intend to
honor this equitable protocol, and will regularly cast Native Hawaiians in less
than favorable light.
Recently the great actor Marlon Brando pasted away. He was a strong supporter of
Hollywood bringing Native Americans into the film and television Industries.
Marlon Brando's most public appeal for Indian rights came in 1973, when he won
the Academy Award for best actor in The Godfather.
Instead of appearing himself at the awards, he sent Sasheen Littlefeather to
reject the Oscar and voice his anger over Hollywood's portrayal of Indians in
In 1992, Brando called for his name to be removed from the credits for the film
It is past time for the movie industries and TV networks to stop their stereo
profiling and racial exclusion of Native Americans in casting line-ups and start
portraying them in everyday life as it is in our society today. The American
public is more than willing to see Native Americans in leading roles. It's time
for the networks to step up to the plate and clean up their racial attitude
toward Native Americans. The Sundance Cable Network notwithstanding, what can
the film industry possibly gain by taking such a biased position against Native
cultures? Whether deliberate, ignorant or indifferent, the out come of
Hollywood's decisions are still the same: misrepresentation, exclusion,
degradation for Native peoples.
United Native America has an online petition calling for a national holiday for
Native Americans and for the end of racial exclusion toward Native Americans in
movies and television leading roles. Please support these issues by
signing the petition.
Use information below to take action on this issue:
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UNA UPDATE ON BOYCOTT:
America call for a boycott of new TV shows being filmed in Hawaii Aug. 24, 2004
for not having Native Hawaiians in the shows main cast has just seen the first
one bite the dust!!! NBC's Show Hawaii has stopped filming Oct. 19th 2004. Keep
up the great work, united we stand!!!!
We hope after this, Hollywood Films and TV Networks will see the light!!!!