Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hollywood's top Native American producer is a fake, activists claim - New York Post

One of Hollywood’s leading Native American figures is being accused of faking her claims of Cherokee heritage, The Post can reveal.

Award-winning Heather Rae, 56, serves on the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Indigenous Alliance, previously headed up the Sundance Institute’s Native American program and claims “my mother was Indian and my father was a cowboy.” Multiple prior news reports have also cited her as having a Cherokee mother.

But a watchdog group called the Tribal Alliance Against Frauds is now demanding the Academy and the producer drop her “false claims” while activists insist she’s at best 1/2048th Cherokee.

The group accuses her of profiting from usurping “real American Indian voices and perspectives” and being a fraudulent so-called “Pretendian.”

Rae is married to another Hollywood producer, Russell Friedenberg, and the eldest of their three children is actress Johnny Sequoyah, who currently stars in the reboot of Dexter.

Ironically, Rae was already caught up in the highest-profile “Pretendian” scandal to hit Hollywood. The producer was thanked by the Academy last year for brokering an apology to Sacheen Littlefeather.

Littlefeather was blacklisted in Hollywood for appearing on Marlon Brando’s behalf to decline his 1973 Best Actor Oscar and jeered as she spoke up for Native Americans, claiming she was Apache.

But after her death in October, Littlefeather’s sister revealed she was a liar, who had faked her identity all along.

Rae is the latest target for Native...

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