Can there be one blockbuster—just one—where there isn’t some controversy during their press tour?
Joining the ranks of some of the ‘The Avengers’ cast members and ‘The Martian’ star Matt Damon, Dylan O’Brien is now in hot water after revealing that he along with the cast and crew of ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ took artifacts from an ancient Indian burial ground.
The second installment of ‘The Maze Runner’ franchise shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico in an area known as Diamond Tail Ranch. It’s filled with Native American artifacts. Nothing has ever been shot on this location before. During an appearance on ‘Live with Kelly and Michael’ O’Brien stated that people took some artifacts from the location and, eerily, members of the cast fell ill as if they awakened an ancient curse.
This could’ve been a quirky anecdote, almost akin to an episode of ‘The Brady Bunch’ that Ripa brings up later in the interview.
However, there’s something pretty unnerving about this story.
The cast and crew were told not to take any artifacts from the location. O’Brien shared, “[We were told to] respect the grounds. They were really strict about littering and don’t take any artifacts, like rocks, skulls, anything like that, and everyone just takes things, obviously.”
Everyone just takes things? So when you’re cordially invited to someone’s dinner party, you just take their “Keep Calm and Expecto Patronum” poster?
But what’s also bothersome about this is O’Brien’s insolent attitude towards Native American culture. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt (probably because he’s in his 20s) that he didn’t intend to be disrespectful. However, this doesn’t mean he shouldn’t offer some sort of apology.
Many people agree.
19-year-old Maeve Cunningham started a petition asking for the cast and crew to apologize to the Pueblo people. She writes,
While O’Brien plays it for laughs, talking about bringing a Native American curse on the cast, his flip treatment of the crew’s actions is outrageous. O’Brien, the film’s director, and other crew members involved need to apologize to Pueblo tribal leaders for their behavior and return any artifacts they removed from the site.
Cunningham’s petition aims to get 50,000 supporters. As of the time of this posting, she’s amassed over 61,000 signatures. Take a look and/or sign her Care2 petition.
So, now the question remains—which celebrity news outlet gets dibs on O’Brien’s exclusive interview where he apologizes?