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Sunday, February 3, 2013

White Man Play White Man and White Man Play Indian

Posted by on Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

I hope Tonto marks the beginning of Johnny Depp's downfall...



Comments (47) RSS

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stinkbug 1
"In a 2002 interview, Depp stated that he has Native American ancestry; in 2011, he specified, 'I guess I have some Native American [in me] somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek.'" - via

Posted by stinkbug on February 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Baconcat 2
He was at our fair:…

LaDonna Harris -- you'll know her name since you're an expert on Native affairs, Chuck -- adopted him into the tribe:…

Ignore that "New Mexico-based tribe" thing because LOL.
Posted by Baconcat on February 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
tainte 3
oh for fucks sake.
Posted by tainte on February 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Black man from shitty third world country come to US and bitch like woman. Suck our collective cocks, Tonderai. Go home and become an extra in a Christian Children's Fund commercial as you were destined. Then you'll have something to bitch about.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on February 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 5
I'm sorry Charles. I've sorta had a crush on Johnny Depp since the mid 1980s. It's a longstanding crush that won't be diminished by one bad/tasteless role.

Sure, they could have cast an actual indian to play Tonto, but then the movie would have sold about 3 tickets nation-wide. Hammer doesn't have the star power to sell tickets on his name alone. This movie only got made because Depp really, really wanted to do it. And it will only sell tickets because he's in it.

If it's any consolation, it looks like a pretty dumb movie, even from the trailers.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 3, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
raku 6
#1: Cool, I heard that Tonto was supposed to be 1/128 Native American too.
Posted by raku on February 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Was that Denzel Washington that once played Richard III?? I hope his career goes in the toilet for that. Not.

Fuck you, Chuck.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on February 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
I'm pretty sure our President is from India. Maybe.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 3, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 9
The word "tonto" in Spanish translates to English as "stupid".

Now, think about the character of Tonto as portrayed in the Lone Ranger serials. The "good Indian" is the one who is subservient to the "White hero". the "bad Indians" are the ones who fight back.

I don't care about Johnny Depp's ethnicity or tribal affiliation. I really wouldn't care if the role was being played by Kathy Griffin in drag. I cringe at the fact that its being played by anybody at all.

It kind of reminds me of the old cartoons now known as "The Censored Eleven".…

or the Disney film "Song of the South"…

I'm not calling for any official censorship here, so you Right-wing conspiracy nuts can just shut the fuck up. Nobody is suggesting that the government do anything or take a stand of any kind. I am suggesting that this role is in poor taste, and the producers would have done better by the American public if they had not chosen to release this film out of respect for First Nations peoples.

And as for everyone who screams "political correctness" every time someone suggests that something might be inappropriate, fuck you. The word we used to sue in place of "politically correct" was "polite". And no, it's not an infringement on your rights if someone like me comes along and states that politeness is a good thing.

Posted by Tacoma Traveler on February 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Baconcat 10
If y'all fought for fair treatment for us as much as you fight over our portrayal in the media I think we'd be getting somewhere.

Where's my popcorn? This is going to get great.
Posted by Baconcat on February 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 11

Well, I'm not really "fighting" over our portrayal in the media. A fight would imply some sort of boycott or a demand for action of some kind. All I'm doing is writing something in the comments section of Slog. Now, you can call that a number of things, from flaming to trolling to whatever, but it's hardly a fight. Fights involve expending real effort to effect change of some kind in a struggle against an organized and powerful opponent. This requires only slightly more effort than jacking off to porn.

And as for your portrayal in the media, let the media portray anybody however it likes. I like having a free, unfettered and somewhat wild media. That doesn't mean that I think that some of the crap the media produces is above criticism, or that I should just shut up and not call a piece of shit what it is.

And the Lone Ranger serials are just that, a piece of shit. I've stated why i think this is so, and I'm sticking to that position. If you think it's art instead, we can have a rational discussion on the matter. I don;t think you'll change my mind, but whatever, I'm bored of porn.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on February 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
we'll all be living in a cave soon
Posted by neoanderthal on February 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Ziggity 13
@9: without weighing in either way (I'm still thinking) I'll point out that the Spanish 'tonto' also means 'dumb' in the sense of 'mute' as the original Tonto was rather taciturn.
Posted by Ziggity on February 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 14
Can't wait to see Charles' reaction to the white guy talking like a rasta man in the VW commercial.
Posted by Gern Blanston on February 3, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
THERE's people that think shit like matters? Seattle is whitey white white Seattle's idea of diversity is for whitey whites to argue about fucking Tonto in some Johnny Depp (King of the Multiplex, lest some think he's a great actor or something). Whiety white whites....
Posted by Wild Bill on February 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
not that white people are less than you know. heck, some of my closest and dearest freinds are white. It's just a fact, Seattle is a WHITE city that confuses Left politics with actual diversity. Nothing wrong with it, i mean, like White People are just like ordinary people....Chuck M. is a fine writer, by the way.
Posted by Wild Bill on February 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Thanks to #9. Didn't know what Tonto meant. Wow. Learn something new everyday. I love Depp and am sorry to see him take such a role, but I assume he may not be looking at the big picture.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on February 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM · Report this
lauramae 18
The trailer was cringe-worthy. If it helps, the get-up the very caucasian (no Native ancestry whatsoever) is from a white painter named Kirby Sattler "The Crow". Sattler, like 100s of other shitty artists, are fascinated by the combination of romantic savagery.

The biggest save for Depp is even the Indian ladies love him and so will also say "I hear he has ancestry" just like #1. I mean if it is in Wiki, then it must be true! (squeal blink blink)
Posted by lauramae on February 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Bunch of non-native people getting offended on behalf of actual native people, who don't actually care about shit like this because they have way bigger problems? Check.
Posted by Amanda on February 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM · Report this
stirwise 20
@15: Of course, because good actors never sell tickets to movies, or appear in popular films.

@9: Exactly. I don't give a shit who's playing the role, the fact that this movie got made is what sucks.
Posted by stirwise on February 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM · Report this
Fistique 21
Fortunately, the future of the Western is definitely going to be influenced more by Django Unchained than whatever bullshit Lone Ranger thing they're doing here.
Posted by Fistique on February 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Banna 22
Just wait until Charles hears that Brian Austin Green will play Othello in the next big screen adaptation.
Posted by Banna on February 3, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
wait, wait, you expected cultural authenticity and racial justice from The Lone Ranger?

How do you justify your stupidity to yourself?
Posted by stilettov on February 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
raku 24
#19: Of course Native people and other minorities care about their representation in the media, and that the few major film roles that minorities can possibly be cast in are being taken by white actors. White people are the ones who don't care (and also the ones responsible for it - surprise!).

This keeps happening, especially with Native, Asian, and Middle Eastern roles. See Mickey Rourke as "Genghis Khan" coming up.

See below for Native people certainly caring:……
Posted by raku on February 3, 2013 at 6:29 PM · Report this
raku 25
Also @many, stop assuming everyone is white. I'm not white, Charles isn't white, 1/3 of the City of Seattle isn't white, and probably a larger percentage of The Stranger readers aren't white.
Posted by raku on February 3, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 26
15, 19,

I'm not sure why it matters what my ethnicity is. In fact, you don't know what my ethnicity is, and I'm not going to mention it here because it's so unimportant.

What matters is the argument itself, the position being taken and the conclusions drawn. The words are what is being debated, not the lips and tongue upon which they were formed. Now if you want to discuss that, I'm interested. But if all you can think about is how to derail the conversation with an ad hominem, then fuck off.

The portrayal of an archetype of First nations people as stupid should offend anybody, regardless of their origin. The portrayal of First Nations people as only acceptable if they play a subservient role is similarly offensive. It points to a larger meme, one in which human beings are defined as superior or inferior based upon traits unrelated to how hard they work or the brilliance of their ideas. It creates artificial divisions and sets us against one another, dividing us so as to keep us from ever uniting and collectively freeing ourselves from the bonds that keep us all down. It's Bacon's Rebellion replayed over and over and over again. And I think it's time we all stand up for one another.

We are all in this world together. If we stand up for one another, we as a species are made stronger thereby. Everyone benefits when bigotry and intolerance can find no toehold in our society. We are one big union, and an injury to one is an injury to all.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on February 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM · Report this
sirkowski 27
It seems reactionary for a culture to be the exclusivity of an ethnicity. How can a Marxist be against cultural appropriation?
Posted by sirkowski on February 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM · Report this
I hope this post marks the beginning of Charles Mudede's downfall.
Posted by catsnbanjos on February 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM · Report this
Michael of the Green 29
Isn't he a white man who is playing a white man who played an indian? I was assuming the movie was referencing the old tv show. It would be really weird if Tonto was portrayed by an american indian and I wouldn't think any self-respecting Native American would be interested in that part.

Still, I do wish Johnny would give these kind of roles a rest.
Posted by Michael of the Green on February 3, 2013 at 9:20 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 30
I just wish Johnny Depp would stop being the starry eyed adult with a child's sense of whimsy and be a grown up for once.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on February 3, 2013 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Cry harder.
Posted by treehugger on February 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM · Report this
@26 -- As brave as all of that sounds, natives have far bigger fish to fry than a ridiculous movie that nobody will take seriously in the first place. So if native affairs is your big passion in life, then your outrage is being misplaced.
Posted by Amanda on February 3, 2013 at 10:40 PM · Report this
Wow multiple blog posts on slog about a stupid movie from non-aboriginal's being offended for aboriginals...No posts on Slog about the Idle No More movement, including events that have taken place in Seattle. Hey Slog, Line out is showing you up, they actually had a blog post about Idle No More, you know the aboriginal movement by aboriginals themselves to get the issues they care about heard.
Posted by j2patter on February 3, 2013 at 10:43 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 34
The Most Interesting Man in the Dos Equis commercials isn't Latino, and none of the leads in Les Misérables are French.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on February 4, 2013 at 7:20 AM · Report this
I watched "Instinct" recently and enjoyed Chuck's cameo as the silverback.
Posted by Stranger'sWorstNightmare on February 4, 2013 at 7:57 AM · Report this
The girlfriend and I went to the open call for extras in Durango last Spring. Didn't get a callback (we were'nt weird looking enough,) but Durango is a nice place. Tons of outdoor activities, a scenic railroad and 4 breweries.
Posted by Bohica on February 4, 2013 at 7:59 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 37
@34: What do an advert and a play have to do with entrenched "token ethnic" stereotypes? Your analogies are terrible.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 38
37, I wasn't making an analogy. I was stating facts.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on February 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
Fnarf 39
The only interesting thing Johnny Depp has done in the last twenty years has been playing himself, on an episode of "Life's Too Short", where he hires Warwick Davis to show him what being a dwarf is like.
Posted by Fnarf on February 4, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 40
@38: "I was stating facts."

"I'm just stating facts" doesn't absolve you of any criticism, it makes you look even more clueless.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 4, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 41
40, Criticize if it makes you feel better. Native Americans made Depp an honorary tribe member and seem just fine with him playing an Indian. What do they know? Good thing they have you to be outraged for them.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on February 4, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
raku 42
#41: Did you see my links @ 24? The first link has many more links on the Native blogosphere where they're not fine with Johnny Depp playing Tonto or the portrayal of Tonto in the movie in other ways.
Posted by raku on February 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 43
@41: Do you think there's some sort of Native American pope that decrees how it's okay for all tribes to feel, or something? Some people are offended, as is their right. Your attempts to minimalize their interests are just poorly thought through.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Cordwainer 44
Love the way you combine semi-literate pseudo-intellectualism with ignorance and ass-holeishness, Charles. Don't ever change.
Posted by Cordwainer on February 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
jimmy blue thunder 45…
Posted by jimmy blue thunder on March 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
jimmy blue thunder 47
well jd is a member of the Comanche Nation as my link in previous post shows
Posted by jimmy blue thunder on March 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this

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