Lily Gladstone is speaking out after her “Reservation Dogs” co-star Devery Jacobs‘ criticisms of “Killers of the Flower Moon” went viral.
Jacobs tweeted that watching the Martin Scorsese true crime drama was “fucking hellfire” due to the “unrelenting and unnecessarily graphic” portrayals of the 1920s murders of Osage people. The film follows the real-life killings of indigenous Osage after oil was found under their land in Oklahoma. Gladstone won the Golden Globe for her portrayal of Mollie Burkhart, an Osage Nation woman whose family was murdered by her in-laws for oil inheritances. Gladstone is predicted to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Gladstone told Rolling Stone in a new interview that Jacobs’ “reaction is a response to a lot of trauma” that Native women endure, especially when reliving the ancestral murders.
“I don’t want to bring heat back on her for this because I think that’s unfair. Her reaction is hers,” Gladstone said of Jacobs, adding, “We’re friends. I crashed on her couch in Toronto when ‘Certain Women’ played at TIFF.”
Gladstone continued, “Her reaction is a response to a lot of trauma that particularly Native women feel seeing these things for the first time. I had a lot of time acclimating myself to the script. The Osage people have had their lives to understand this history. The process of making this movie gave a lot of people a chance to speak. Ultimately, Osage reaction is what I care about the most.”
In Jacobs’ Twitter thread, the actress voiced that the Osage people in the film were not “shown honor or dignity” due to the “horrific portrayal of their deaths.”
Jacobs added, “Contrarily, I believe that by showing more murdered Native women on screen, it normalizes the violence committed against us and further dehumanizes our people. I can’t believe it needs to be said, but Indig ppl exist beyond our grief, trauma, & atrocities. Our pride for being Native, our languages, cultures, joy, & love are way more interesting & humanizing than showing the horrors white men inflicted on us. […] Admittedly, I would prefer to see a $200 million movie from an Osage filmmaker telling this history, any day of the week.”
However, Jacobs did call out Gladstone’s performance and supported her turn in the film.
“It must be noted that Lily Gladstone is an absolute legend & carried Mollie w/ tremendous grace,” Jacobs wrote. “All the incredible Indigenous actors were the only redeeming factors of this film. Give Lily her goddamn Oscar.”
Gladstone previously shut down assumptions that “Killers of the Flower Moon” would be a “white-savior story” and later after Jacobs’ posts, warned about the “generational grief” captured by the film.
“I’ve had time to acclimate how this film is shot, what it depicts, Osage have grown up hearing this, but seeing it on film is triggering,” Gladstone recently told IndieWire. “But the history itself is triggering. A lot of people felt like it was depicted very well. It didn’t shy away from the reality of the violence, but it didn’t make it a gratuitous, in-your-face, filmic thing either. It was balanced and a lot of people appreciated that. It doesn’t mean that first-time audiences, particularly ones that don’t specifically know this story and have had time to acclimate to that, aren’t going to have that reaction. … When you bring Native women to the heart of the story and the audience gets to fall in love with them a bit, it hits so much harder. When you’re humanized in a story, in a history that is by nature dehumanizing you and your people, it hits harder.”