Maybe she can produce Elizabeth Warren’s biopic.
In the latest “Pretendian” scandal among left-wing elites, a prominent Hollywood producer is being called a phony, with activists alleging she has been faking her Cherokee heritage for years, according to a New York Post report.
Heather Rae, who produced the Oscar-nominated movie Frozen River, has long promoted herself as a Native American within elite Hollywood circles. She currently sits on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Indigenous Alliance, and previously headed the Sundance Institute’s Native American program.
She has publicly claimed “my mother was Indian and my father was a cowboy.” Variety once described her as having “half-Cherokee roots.”
But a group called the Tribal Alliance Against Frauds is calling Rae’s claims “false,” with one study insisting she’s at best 1/2048th Cherokee.
Our Michelle Latimer, folks.
Alleged fake Cherokee filmmaker Heather Rae Bybee. #Hollywood #Pretendian https://t.co/apDQ3nrxVq via @nypost
— Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler) March 26, 2023
Tribal Alliance Against Frauds director Lianna Costantino told The Post: “Being an American Indian person is not just about who you claim to be, it is about who claims you.
“And it’s much more than just race. We are citizens of sovereign nations. Being an Indian is a legal, political distinction.”
The blog FakeIndians recently published a lengthy study on Rae’s claims to Native American blood, finding that Rae has no ancestors recognized by the three Cherokee nations. In addition, the study includes a divorce certificate from 1969 showing that both of Rae’s parents, Vernon and Barbara Bybee, were listed as white.
The study concluded that, at best, Rae is 1/2048th Cherokee.
Rae reportedly played a key role in persuading the Academy to publicly apologize to Sacheen Littlefeather, the activist who infamously rejected Marlon Brando’s Oscar for The Godfather in 1973.
Littlefeather, who died last year, claimed for decades to be Apache. But as Breitbart News reported, her biological sisters recently accused her of lying, saying she has no Native American ancestry they know of. They said their father was Mexican and their mother was white.
Rae didn’t respond to the Post’s request for comment. Her Wikipedia page no longer describes her as half-Cherokee or as Native Indian, according to the Post. She has been active as a producer since the 1990s, with her first major credit on the 1994 TBS miniseries The Native Americans. Many of her projects have focused on Native American culture, including Water Flowing Together (2007), Frozen River (2008), Apache 8 (2011), Young Lakota (2012), Wind Walkers (2015), and Once Upon a River (2019).
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