Hard Powder—a very Canadian-sounding action movie in which Liam Neeson plays “an honest snowplow driver” who goes all Liam Neeson on a local crime boss after his son gets killed—has run into a rough patch of snow, with Uproxx reporting that the Canadian parks service has denied the film shooting access to its locales. The trouble apparently stems from the film’s depiction of a First Nations crime boss, played by First Nations actor and musician Tom Jackson.
Per location manager Mark Royce: “They phoned and asked, ‘Is the leader of the rival gang in this picture First Nations?’ We said yes. That became an obvious last nail in the coffin for us. They didn’t want to offend anybody. They (said they) would get back to us, but they had grave concerns over subject matter. They told us that in almost exactly those words.” Jackson—who starred on the classic Canadian drama series North Of 60, about a majority First Nations town—has protested the decision, saying, “As a consultant to this production, I have taken a strong stance to ensure that the humility and integrity of First Nation roles do not cross the line of disrespect to my culture. I don’t feel my culture is insulted even slightly by the script. Hard Powder will be made regardless. The question is whether we deprive our own, or do we harvest for our own?”
Liam Neeson has yet to comment on this story, presumably because he’s too busy staring off into the middle distance, imagining all the retired-hockey-players-turned-syrup-mafia-goons he’ll get to run over with a snowplow once production starts back up.