Published Oct 07, 2015Hype behind sci-fi adventure flick Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has been derailed by an online petition calling for cast members to return various stolen artifacts they nabbed during a film shoot at an Indian burial ground in Albuquerque, NM.
The controversy stems from a recent interview with actor Dylan O'Brien on Live! With Kelly and Michael in which he described how he and the crew had taken various Pueblo Indian artifacts from the shoot location, even after being told explicitly not to exploit the sacred Native American grounds this way.
"They said don't take anything and respect the grounds," he told the daytime show hosts. "Don't take any artifacts — rocks, skulls, anything like that. And everyone just takes stuff, obviously."
You can watch the interview below.
It's alleged in the interview that various crew members fell ill during the shoot, with the insinuation being that stealing from the grounds led to fevers, broken ankles and more.
Now, a petition titled "Demand the Scorch Trials cast and crew apologize to Native Americans" is circulating, insisting film director Wes Ball, O'Brien and the rest of the cast put the inappropriately lifted mementos back in place in Albuquerque.
"The Native Americans from that area, the Pueblo people, have spoken out, angered and disrespected," it reads. "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 petition adds: "Native American culture and communities deserve more respect than you apparently showed while filming Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Fans are furious that you would steal Pueblo artifacts despite being told not to. Please publicly apologize to Pueblo community leaders and return what you stole."
At present time, the petition has yielded over 45,000 signatures. You can find out more and throw your name down in support over here.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opened last month.