• Wed, Dec 12 2012

I Like Johnny Depp, But This Trailer For The Lone Ranger Is Pretty Racist, Right?

Didn’t we just go through this? Didn’t No Doubt just have to pull their video for ‘Looking Hot’ after their Native American theme caused controversy? And now I find myself watching a trailer for The Lone Ranger, with Armie Hammer in the title role, and Johnny Depp starring as a semi- to super-stereotypical Tonto in warpaint and pidgin English? What’s going on, here? Did we not predict that this trailer might be perceived as somewhat racist? And forget about the trailer! What about the movie itself?! We’re honestly comfortable in 2012 putting out a full-length feature film’s worth of a white guy mimicking a different race? We couldn’t find a single Native American actor in this great nation of ours who could bring some credibility to such expertly-crafted lines as:

Something very wrong with that horse.

and

There come a time when good man must wear mask.

I don’t know, guys…I liked the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and I’m pretty fond of that Winklevoss boy, too…but this is definite racism territory, right? I mean, right?!? I’m not crazy. I don’t feel like it was done intentionally, but this is definitely one of the hazards of having big-name Hollywood actors in a movie: when a good part comes up, they don’t have to audition for it, they just take it. Like the same way you know Ben Affleck was sitting around in his house in front of a mirror going, “Get a little beard on these cheeks, and I can most def play Mexican-American for Argo“, Johnny Depp was like, “I not Native American, but I famous actor. I Tonto, no one else shall play. Yeah, that’ll do. Let’s get Jerry on the phone.”

I don’t know what to think, because I actually like look of movie itself, minus stereotypes. Only thing is, I finding it hard to believe protest groups let this get released as is. Or maybe I crazy and this not sketchy at all. All I know is I’m talking and thinking like a Cookie Monster-Johnny-Depp-as-Tonto hybrid, and I want it to stop.

(Image: WENN.com)

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  • Lauren

    Johnny Depp is actually part Native American.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Aren’t we all?

  • Emma

    If you follow any of the Native American blogs on tumblr, LOTS of people agree with you. It’s pretty racist.

  • John

    There is a whole circuit of native american films and a modest pool of actors available from them. I really wish they just used their heads and didn’t cast him for the extra audience. i remember mickey rooney from breakfast at tiffany’s being at this same level.

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  • Manuel Marrero

    Even if Johnny Depp is part Native American, I doubt he’s on an intimate par with the Native American experience, collectively, or individually. Did he grow up on a reservation? Has he done activist work for Native American groups like AIM? or has he contributed to any scholarships funds or organizations that work with Native American youth? Besides all this, for me and anybody else educated and informed there’s the issue of the Texas Rangers themselves. If you really want to know about Texas Rangers read Rudy Acuna’s book Occupied America. Look them up in the index. No they are not pure souls. It’s why I change the channel whenever Walker Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris comes on, and it’s why I did my best to forgive the character of the Texas Ranger in True Grit. Otherwise that was a good movie. It’s just a fact that aside from the Border Patrol the Texas Rangers were and still are the most anti-Mexican group out there, and I don’t care if they do fill their ranks with sellout white wannabes Hispanics like the Border Patrol does. They have a history of lynchings, persecution, thugery, murder, rape, and anything else you could name against both Mexican and the Native Americans of the Texas area, and the Southwest, and they actually invaded Mexico to take the side of a North American company that was practicing dual wages in Mexico in the 1890s I think it was. Read Rudy Acuna Occupied America.

  • Guest

    OMG! Stop the madness. Get over it. Stop always crying racism. It’s a movie based on an old classic. It’s not that serious people.

    • Newhere

      Just because it’s old or “classic” doesn’t make it any less racist. It’s quite serious for Native Americans who have to see caricatures of themselves on tv and in movies and as sports mascots. Wake up!

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  • MCR

    Unfortunately, for some reason racism against Native Americans is not considered real or official racism. That’s why we still have professional sports teams called things like the Redskins and the Braves and who use images for their logos which are the Native equivalent of a cartoon blackface character. Nobody – apart from Natives themselves – seem to find this offensive.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Native Americans enduring US terrorism for 200 years. Great bumper sticker.

  • hippie mama

    Johnny Depp is part Native American, however, I would like to have seen a less famous Native American play the part of “Tonto”. And I would like to see a Native American be the lead role, let the white guy be the side kick for a change.

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