Netflix’s ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ ditches plans for US filming after Native American outrage
(Credits: Netflix)

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Netflix’s ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ ditches plans for US filming after Native American outrage

The writer Graham Hancock has ditched his plans to film a new season for the Netflix show Ancient Apocalypse in the United States, following outrage from a selection of Indigenous groups about his portrayal of their culture and history.

The ex-journalist has been in the firing line from a number of historical and scientific leading figures for the way the show promotes questionable views and theories on a civilisation that was lost during the most recent ice age.

Permits to film at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the Chaco Canyon in New Mexico had been requested, but these were met with scorn from tribal leaders in the states, and how it has been revealed that neither permit will be used, even though the latter was granted.

Instead Ancient Apocalypse will be filmed outside of the United States. Some filming at Chaco Canyon was completed back in January, but a March return was cancelled due to “delays with permissions for some other sites.”
On the Chaco Canyon filming permit application, the program description noted, “We’ll uncover the latest findings about the earliest inhabitants of the Americas and reveal remarkable scientific knowledge that’s been handed down for generations. Where did humans settle first in the Americas, and what do we know about them?”

Hancock’s views and theories have drawn criticism from the archaeological and Indigenous communities, including individuals like the tribal historic preservation officer for the Hopi Nation, Stewart Koyiyumptewa, who said the writer “presents his theories as being superior to what the first inhabitants of the area say about their own history.”

In addition, a Native American staff member of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona said that the filming permit request was “embarrassing” and a “discredit” to the park itself, which has worked hard to respect Indigenous people and right many historical wrongs”.

Koyiyumptewa immediately sent an email to the Grand Canyon staff when he learned that Alien Apocalypse was set to be filmed with Hancock in charge and told them that he was upset with the agreement that had been put in place.

“That kind of decision is supposed to involve consultation with tribes,” Koyiyumptewa later told The Guardian. “And it’s not just Hopi that objected. Numerous tribes were against allowing that permit because it brings negative consequences to us.”

According to the Hopi Nation tribal historic preservation officer, his people were “not consulted before the decision was made.”