Why Oklahoma Public Schools Are ‘Too Afraid’ to Teach ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

“Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone recently joined Rolling Stone for an interview, addressing the sharp criticism of the film by “Reservation Dogs” actor Devery Jacobs. Gladstone mentioned that Jacobs is her friend and also appeared in “Reservation Dogs.” Jacobs, a fellow Indigenous actor, played the role of Alora in three seasons of the FX and Hulu comedy series.

Regarding Jacobs’ critiques, Gladstone responded, “We’re friends. When ‘Certain Women’ premiered in Toronto at TIFF, I fell on his couch.” Reflecting on Rolling Stone bringing up Jacobs’ criticisms, Gladstone emphasized Rolling Stone focusing on the “teardrops on his face.” She stated, “I don’t want to bring anger back to him because I think that’s inappropriate. His response is his.”

She continued, “His response is a response to a lot of trauma that Indigenous women, especially, feel when they see these things for the first time. It took him a long time to process it according to the script. Osage people have made their lives understanding this history. The making of this film allowed many people to speak. Ultimately, Osage responses are the thing I care most about.”

A few weeks after Jacobs posted his criticisms on Twitter, Gladstone used the same platform to address Indigenous women and youth, suggesting they watch “Flower Moon” only when they feel ready and with people they feel safe with. She acknowledged that it might be emotionally challenging for many generations.

“Flower Moon” is based on a true story and centers around the reign of terror in the Osage Nation in the late 1920s, where at least 60 members were murdered. Jacobs had previously written on Twitter in October that watching “Flower Moon” was like “hellfire” and criticized the portrayal of the gruesome scenes featuring white people discussing/planning murders that lasted 30 minutes. “It should be noted that Lily Gladstone is a complete icon and has kept Mol in check with fabulous grace,” Jacobs tweeted. “All the unbelievable Indigenous actors in this film were a single redeeming factor for this movie. Give Lily her Paramount Oscar. But while all performances were strong, if you look proportionately, every Osage character was brutalized while white people were given more nuance and depth.”

“I don’t think the Indigenous [characters] were shown respect or dignity in the brutal portrayal of their deaths,” she said. “Instead, I believe that showing more horrifically murdered Indigenous women on screen normalizes the violence against us and makes our people even more dehumanized.”

Gladstone is actively advocating for her “Flower Moon” Oscar campaign, having recently won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. She is also nominated for Critics’ Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actress. Her Oscar nomination for this role was widely predicted, given the extensive critical acclaim for her performance.

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