Aug 18, 2022 - Economy & Business

Hollywood mints new star Amber Midthunder

woman in a pink dress with flowers on it in front of a screen printed with Prey and 20th century fox
"Prey" star Amber Midthunder on August 2, 2022. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

The action film "Prey" just became Hulu's biggest ever premiere.

Why it matters: Its success has boosted the fame of its star, Amber Midthunder, who has now become one of the first Indigenous women to lead a major studio film.

  • For context, "Prey" is set some 300 years before "Predator," and features Midthunder as a Comanche warrior and hunter pitted against an alien.

Also driving the news this week: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicly apologized on Monday to Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather for the treatment she received at the Oscars in 1973.

  • When she was on stage to refuse Marlon Brando's win at his request — done so as a protest to show support of Native American rights — some in the audience booed her, John Wayne even reportedly tried to take her off the stage, and later, she said she was silenced and struggled to find work in the film industry.

What they're saying: "Visibility is one of the most important ways and ... initial steps ... when you're talking about reconciliation," Midthunder told the Washington Post today.

The big picture: "The presence of Native American stories and actors in media is slowly improving, even though there’s much work to be done. 'Prey' joins a variety of films and TV shows, like 'Reservation Dogs,' 'Yellowstone,' and more, that explore this culture with nuance, all the while featuring new and booming Native American talent," Hola's Maria Loreto writes.

What to watch: Marvel's upcoming "Echo" will make history for the larger MCU franchise as the series features Native American and Indigenous cast and crew both in front of and behind the camera.

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