Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials co-star Dylan O’Brien might have thought his played-out joke about Native American burial curses would provoke laughs during a recent appearance on Live With Kelly and Michael, but a possible PR migraine for 20th Century Fox resulted instead, after O’Brien’s admission that he and other cast members looted Pueblo artifacts while filming scenes for the movie in New Mexico last year. Now a Care2 petition is demanding an apology from the cast and crew, as well as the return of anything stolen.
The shoot, which took place in and around Albuquerque included a Pueblo burial site on which the cast was given strict instructions not to take anything — instructions, O’Brien said, that were ignored. “They gave us this big speech when we got there to shoot, and they said, ‘Don’t take anything. Respect the grounds.’ They were very strict about littering and don’t take any artifacts like rocks, skulls — anything like that,” he said. “And everyone just takes stuff, you know, obviously.”
O’Brien went on to joke about how some of those who took items becoming ill might have been the result of a curse.
In response, fan Maeve Cunningham started the petition, which reads:
“In a disturbing interview on Live with Kelly & Michael, Dylan O’Brien admits that cast members of his film “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” ignored instructions about filming on a Native American site and stole ancient Pueblo artifacts from a filming location outside Albuquerque.
The Native Americans from that area, the Pueblo people, have spoken out, angered and disrespected.
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 told Care2 that “hearing someone who you have a lot of respect for completely disregard someone else’s culture and basic human rights in such a disrespecting manner was just this big letdown for me. I think if the cast and crew came out and apologized and returned whatever they took from the site, it would be a huge step forward in helping Native Americans get the respect they deserve and really need in this country.”
As of this writing, the petition has received 23,777 signatures. The production has not issued a statement thus far.
The full interview can be seen here: