Adrienne K saw The Lone Ranger so the rest of us don’t have to and her scathing take down of the film post on Native Appropriations pretty much confirms all of my fears about this stinking pile of mess.
I’m not sure who this fucking thing was for. There’s no nostalgia for this character for anyone under the age of 90. Tonto was always going to be a problem. In the radio show, he was the total embodiment of the Noble Savage caricature. He’s not exactly a character I’d hold up as representative of my people were I Native American. Casting Johnny Derp in the role is a final slap in the face to Native Americans.
Oh, but he’s one twentiethteenth Native– shut the fuck up! No one thinks of him as Native anything. If he truly stood up for Native representation, he would have backed down and told Disney to cast someone who doesn’t need a flow chart to prove they have some Native blood somewhere in their long lost ancestry. The only good Depp has done in portraying this character is that it’s stirred up the conversation about Native representation in Hollywood.
In truth, judging from Adrienne’s review, it doesn’t seem like it would have mattered who was cast in the role. Even if Tonto was portrayed by a Native actor, the movie would still fail to connect with audiences. I’m kind of glad a Native actor wasn’t attached to this playing an insane caricature of his people. We can point to it as a failure of substance rather than a failure of trying something new by casting a Native lead. This was never going to be a movie that accurately portrayed Native anything.
From: Native Appropriations