May 27, 2012

"What’s wrong with Johnny Depp playing an Indian?"

"Nothing now, because he is an American Indian. If the Comanche say it, then it is so."
... Now that he’s one of us, he’ll need to learn more to help us.

18 comments:

Salamandyr said...

There's nothing wrong with Johnny Depp playing an American Indian, any more than there was something wrong with the Welsh Catherine Zeta Jones playing a Spaniard, or Japanese American George Takei playing a Vietnamese man. This sort of specialized racial essentialism is silly.

The only real problem is that Johnny Depp is a Very Large Ham, who ceased being interesting years ago, and now just caricatures himself.

bagoh20 said...

The problem I see is that it will require acting.

Darrell said...

I don't have time to read your link.
Is he playing Elizabeth Warren?

wyo sis said...

I think I'll declare Johnny Depp an honorary member of my family so he can help us. Financially would be best. Understanding is all well and good, but money talks.

Terry said...

In Hawaii, if the sovereignty people have their way, some group of self-identified Hawaiians, anointed by politicians, will soon have the right to declare anyone they choose as "Hawaiian". There is money involved, and there are very few people with as much as 25% percent Hawaiian blood.

Craig said...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Chromesun_kincaid_site_01.jpg

tim in vermont said...

I like what Johnny Depp does on film, whether you call it acting or not. He also has cheekbones Native American scholar Lizzie can only dream about.

edutcher said...

So some Lefty Indian says Cap'n Sparrow is an Indian because the Comanch' adopted him*?

I'll believe it when David Yeagley says it.

* Back when, the Comanch' would have ridden through the Poncas like so many prairie dogs.

David said...

Jay Silverheels was not available for comment (and has not been for a number of years.)

EDH said...

What’s the difference between Johnny Depp and Elizabeth Warren playing an Indian?

In Hollywood, Johnny Depp is "box office boffo".

At Harvard, Elizabeth Warren is "check-box boffo".

ndspinelli said...

What's w/ the hating of Depp? He spends hours signing autographs for fans. EVERYONE who had contact w/ him in Wi. while Public Enemies was being filmed say he is a smiling, consummate gentleman. He has taken challenging, whimsical roles and always gives you your moneys worth.

viator said...

What's with Johnny Depp's eyes? Is that eye makeup?

Ken said...

The real question is "What's wrong with Johnny Depp?"

The answer is that he's the typical limousine riding, Hollywood elite, hipster douch bag.

donald said...

Johnny Depp is a massive tipper and all around nice guy.

He also has carried the torch for Humter Thompson and for The Rum Diaries made. I assume he's a liberal, but he ain't out there showing venal ignorance, so who cares.

So, you're wrong ken. Just sayin

Tibore said...

"What’s wrong with Johnny Depp playing an Indian?"

What's wrong is less the specific case of Depp in the role and more the fact that anyone seriously asking the question or seriously pondering the multitude of answers is forgetting what the hell the point of acting is to begin with.

And yes, I'm saying that even after reading the article. Especially after reading the article, since most of its point was about Depp's misunderstandings of cultural details despite his adoption by the Comanche nation, and gaining knowledge in order to overcome that and ultimately help dispel stereotypes. At least the linked article is an aid to acting - specifically, a more Stella Adler sort of method than Strasberg's version - but it still misses the point to a small degree. Just nowhere near as badly as the question itself. That, when devoid of the context of the article, doesn't even inhabit the same state as the point.

el polacko said...

when did 'the smell of the greasepaint' become an intolerable fragrance? it's called acting. that is, representing a character other than oneself. not so many years ago, laurence olivier donned blackface (eeeeek!!!) to play the moor, othello, and received accolades for his performance. what has happened since then?

William said...

If Johnny Depp is playing Tonto, it's a sure bet that the Lone Ranger will be some inept, well meaning doofus, continually rescued by the superior knowledge and wisdom of his Indian companion.....I read somewhere that Santa Ana invited the Anglos to settle in Texas, a land sometimes known as Comanchia. The Mexicans didn't want to settle there on account of the harsh immigration policies of the Commanches. The Commanches, in order to discourage illegal immigration to their land, used to torture the children of settlers to death in front of their parents. I don't think the movie will focus on the immigration policies of the Commanches. Some female captives were tattooed on their foreheads. The tattoo indicated that they were the common property of the tribe and indicated that the captive could be raped by any male at any time. I don't think Tonto will confront issues of sexism among the Commanches......Hollywood has replaced one set of stereotypes with another. The heavies will be white bourgeoise and their foolish laws regarding private property. Who can own a cloud?....Property is theft--the sole exception is intellectual property. If some scumbag tries to appropriate the image of Tonto or Johnny Deppy, then he should be strangled with the entrails of his children.

Methadras said...

So Depp is going to do it in blackface?