Mary Pember: Johnny Depp taps into his inner Tonto in video

Mary Annette Pember says Johnny Depp seems to be taking his "Tonto" role in The Lone Ranger a little too far:
Like so many folks from this part of the country where there are no reservations or significant Native populations, Depp (who was born in Owensboro, Kentucky) claims that his great-grandmother was Cherokee. His only missing claims are the assertions that she had coal black hair and was a princess.

Although, like some folks in Indian Country, I am irked by this latest in a long line of bad depictions of Native people in film, the silly factor is too good to pass up.

Check out this video of Depp (below, left) as he addresses the Gathering of Nation’s Powwow in Albuquerque last April. He seems to have tapped into his inner Tonto at a level I would not have dreamed possible. Watching him is more embarrassing than witnessing one of those Unitarian Universalist services in which non-Indians try to sing and play hand drums.

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: The Tonto Challenge: Keeping a Straight Face (The Daily Yonder 6/28)

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