Johnny Depp and the Native American Stereotypes
Because Tonto happens to be Native American, he has to be “wise,” “tortured and hurt,” “angry and rageful,” and “very understanding and unique”? That’s like Hollywood Indian Stereotypes 101. … [Depp calls] the subject in the painting [that inspired Depp’s costume] a “warrior” based solely on the fact that he is Native and male (stereotype #1). Of course the “warrior” has to have a “spirit guide” (stereotype #2) and has a mystical connection that outsiders cannot understand - “It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him” (stereotype #3). I think, Mr Depp, when you said you hoped to “mess around with the stereotype of the American Indian,” you actually meant “completely play into the stereotype of the American Indian,” because I’m really not seeing anything subversive or new about your language or this mess of a portrayal. If this is your “salute” to Native Americans, I’m really afraid to watch the actual movie.
- Native Appropriations on Johnny Depp’s costume choices as Tonto for the movie remake of The Lone Ranger.