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John Wayne Was Restrained By Six Security Men At The 1973 Oscars

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The 2022 Oscars got really awkward when Will Smith marched onstage and slapped Chris Rock over a joke he made about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. This was reminiscent of another incident that happened back in 1973 but luckily no one was slapped back then. John Wayne wanted to storm the stage and it took six security men to restrain him so no one got hurt.

During the ’73 Oscars, Marlon Brando won the award for Best Actor for his role in The Godfather. Marlon opted not to go on stage to accept the award. Instead, he had Sacheen Littlefeather, also known as Marie Louise Cruz, go onstage on his behalf. In doing so, she spoke about the mistreatment of Native Americans in the film industry.

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John Wayne wanted to bring Sacheen Littlefeather off the stage at the 1973 Oscars

RIO LOBO, John Wayne, 1970 / Everett Collection

Marlon also wanted to draw more attention to the Wounded Knee Occupation, which helped to bring attention to the mistreatment of Native Americans by the government. It was a controversial choice to have Littlefeather accept the award and she was reportedly only given a minute to speak or she would be arrested.

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RELATED: John Wayne Turned Down This ‘Un-American’ Role

Sacheen Littlefeather holding Marlon Brando’s speech refusing to accept his Academy Award for THE GODFATHER in front of a statue of the Academy Award, 1973 / Everett Collection

John Wayne did not agree with Marlon’s choice and wanted Littlefeather off the stage. At the time, he said, “If [Brando] had something to say, he should have appeared that night and stated his views instead of taking some little unknown girl and dressing her up in an Indian outfit.”

THE GODFATHER, Marlon Brando, 1972 / Everett Collection

Marlon responded, “I was distressed that people should have booed and whistled and stomped, even though perhaps it was directed at myself. They should have at least had the courtesy to listen to her.”

Watch her speech below:

RELATED: John Wayne On His Personal Rule For Accepting Hollywood Roles

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