The Scorch Trials Cast Is In Hot Water With These 35,000 Fans
If you ever find yourself at an ancient Native American burial site, you should never, ever take anything you find there—not because you’ll get cursed like people do in the movies, but because those are important parts of a culture’s heritage and removing them is not respectful.
Dylan O’Brien is learning this the hard way right now, because when he admitted on Live With Kelly and Michael few weeks ago that he and his fellow Maze Runner: Scorch Trials cast members took a bunch of Pueblo artifacts from set, some fans got mad. So mad, in fact, that they’re now currently signing a petition asking O’Brien and the rest of the cast to give back what they took.
The petition was first started by 19 year-old Maeve Cunningham on the community website Care2, and as of press time has over 35,000 signatures. “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,” she writes in the overview. “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.”
The crew definitely knew what they were doing was not on the up-and-up, as O’Brien told Kelly and Michael during the interview. “They gave us this big speech when we got there to shoot, and they said, basically, ’Don’t take anything and respect the grounds.’” he said. “They were really strict about littering and don’t take any artifacts, like rocks, skulls, anything like that, and everyone just takes things, obviously.”
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it is illegal to remove artifacts both from public property and from private property you do not own; taking something from an archaeological site or from Indian lands is especially bad news, and some people who’ve done so in the past have even been prosecuted under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
But Cunningham doesn’t seem to want anyone to go to jail—she just wants the Scorch Trials crew to understand what they did was wrong. “Native American rights are important to me, and 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,” she told The Wrap. “I believe a lot of other fans are disappointed and angry, too.””