After allegations of sexual assault piled up against Harvey Weinstein, Wind Rivermovie director Taylor Sheridan announced he would donate all future royalties to a Montana-based Native American women’s advocacy group. The film was originally distributed by the Weinstein Company and is about the rape and murder of a Northern Arapaho woman.
Lucy Simpson, director of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, said her organization is still in shock over the announcement.
“To have someone with a voice like Taylor Sheridan to see that need and want to be able to give back, whether it was sort of the pushing factor was the scandal or not, it was still recognized that there’s a need out there and he’s in a position to be able to do something to help,” she said.
A Department of Justice report shows that one in three Native American women will experience sexual assault in their life. Simpson said, her organization will receive millions of dollars distributed to them into perpetuity that will help them combat sexual violence in Indian country.
“We don’t have any set ideas on what we’re going to do but we’re thinking about the possibility of maybe wanting to set up an endowment, possibly doing some setting up a certain portion of the funds to be able to provide grants to grassroots organization doing work at the community level,” she said.
Simpson said it will also help them do their current work of empowering Native youth and in developing a policy to help prosecute more cases in tribal courts.