Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov are Russian skaters that form an ice-dance pair. We were alerted to the bizarre routine that they are now performing and saw it ourselves when "Stars on Ice" was rebroadcast on Friday, December 21. The routine is called "The Last of the Mohicans" and involves 2 props: a psuedo-eagle feather Plains-style headdress and and psuedo eagle feather staff. Anjelika wears a practically-nothing "indian" costume and Oleg wears brown fringed shirt and leather pants.
To see pictures of this horrendous "routine," go to http://www.ice-dance.com/krylova/gallery/01soi/
From a fan's webpage:
If you want to send your fan-mail to Anjelika & Oleg, please use University of Delaware's address (it does work!):
University of Delaware
c/o Oleg Ovsyannikov
72 East Park Place
Newark, DE 19711
The best option may be to write to "Stars on Ice" and their sponsors:
Stars on Ice: email@example.com
Q: Where can I write to a skater?
A: Letters may be sent to the skater, c/o IMG, 1360 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114.
Q: I have a suggestion/comment/complaint. What do I do?
A: All correspondence MUST be in writing and sent to Target Stars on Ice, c/o IMG, 1360 East 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114. Please include ticket stubs or ticket receipts regarding all seating concerns. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The letter we sent:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2001 10:34 PM
Subject: Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov—Have some respect for Native American peoples
Please forward the following message to Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov. Also, be aware that it is being copied and forwarded to Stars on Ice sponsors and Native American people throughout the country.
Dear Ms. Krylova and Mr. Ovsiannikov: We viewed with horror your routine called "The Last of the Mohicans." While we assume that this routine must be an attempt to show your interest in and respect for Native American peoples, the routine is just as mocking, degrading, and racist as the use of Native people as sports teams mascots. Like the use of Native people and pseudo-imagery in the mascots of sports teams, your routine uses sacred items sacrilegiously and stereotypes and artifactualizes Native people. Eagle feathers are sacred and not to be used outside of Native American ceremonies and appropriate activities. Eagle feathers could be likened to the Crucifix for Christians and the Menorah and Star of David for Jewish people. The "warbonnet" you depict in the beginning of your routine is worn only by the most respected elder MEN of certain Plains Indian cultures. They are comprised of eagle feathers and they are sacred. Luckily, the feathers in the pseudo-headdress you use are so obviously fake that we do not need to alert federal authorities that you are breaking the law by possessing eagle feathers. You are, however, breaking all laws regarding respect and common decency. While you may want to think that you are showing some kind of perverted respect toward Native American peoples by mocking them with stereotypes, you are perpetuating the worst kind of displays of bigotry and racism. Add to your list of offenses the mockery of sacred eagle feather staffs, mockery of Native American women through the indecent and lewd *costume* Ms. Krylova wears, and the perpetuation of the all-too-common myth that Native people are all dead and gone. Could you have dressed up in blackface and performed a minstrel-show style routine that clearly mocks African-American people? Would you not be immediately branded as racist? Among Native Americans, that is what has happened. You are known to be misguided at best, racist at worst. Your sponsors should have known better than to allow this display of mockery, racism, and bigotry. Native people throughout this country are aware of your misguided display of racism. We hope that a boycott of the show and your sponsors will not be necessary. We hope that protests and demonstrations outside the arenas where Stars on Ice shows will not be necessary. We hope that these things will not be necessary because you will realize the offensiveness of your routine—whether intentional or not—and discontinue this program.
Alice & Randy Huffman
Indian wannabes and imitators
Indian women as sex objects
Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes
. . .
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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
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