Jack Sparrow Cast as an American Indian Tracker?
I like me some Johnny Depp. I think he’s a tremendous actor, extremely versatile, and damn sexay to boot. I enjoy most everything I’ve seen him in and Public Enemies looks like it’s going to be quite good.
And then I saw the news that he’s been cast as the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto.
It really sucks that one of the few American Indian characters in our pop culture will yet again be portrayed by someone who is not. Although, honestly, I probably wouldn’t want to be Tonto if I was American Indian. It’s not like he’s a high mark in American fiction. His depiction in the radio dramas was less than accurate, even borderline racist. And he’s never been more than a lap dog to a Texas Ranger. “Oh, Kimo Sabe. Him say him good Injun. Him say he fight on our side. Him offer us peace pipe to seal deal. Him sellout just like me!” Ugh.
I wonder if the casting director approached Depp first or if American Indian actors turned down the role flat out. I kind of look at Tonto like Fu Manchu. Sure, it’d be nice to see an Asian portray Fu Manchu. But I can’t see any self-respecting Asian actor looking forward to playing such a stereotypical part. The same might be true for Tonto. On the one hand, I’d like to see him portrayed by an actual American Indian. But on the other hand, I couldn’t see any American Indian actors looking forward to the role. So I guess we’re stuck with Depp.
I won’t be seeing this movie. It’s not that I’m protesting or anything. I just don’t like Westerns.
UPDATE: I should probably shut the fuck up. Seems that Depp is at least part Cherokee. Tonto still sucks.