Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Johnny Depp now officially a Native American, meaning emThe Lone Ranger/em no longer has potential to be offensive

Outside of questioning whether the dead bird on his head is some sort of cry-for-help chapeau, much of the discussion regarding Johnny Depp's Tonto in The Lone Ranger has been over whether his portrayal will be seen as offensive to Native Americans, who generally haven't been all that thrilled with Tonto to begin with. To which the answer is, of course not, because has a dead bird on his head like all Native Americans with their spirit guides, and something about emotional quarters. Plus, as someone has always inevitably pointed out since news of the project was first reported, like shamans speaking sagely on Internet comment boards, Johnny Depp is part Native American—something only very few million people can claim to be, depending on whether they are applying for a college scholarship.


And now that connection is much more official and publicity-friendly: The Hollywood Reporter notes that Depp has been "formally adopted" by the Comanche Indians—the New Mexico-based tribe to which Tonto belongs, something they are apparently finally ready to accept now that Johnny Depp is playing him—with the group welcoming Depp into their family based on a career of exhibiting "traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share," such as absorbing the ghosts and funny accents of their ancestors. Therefore, Tonto is now being played by a genuine Native American, so you can shut up forever. Anyway, Depp was reportedly very "proud" to attend the induction ceremony, clearly pleased that this would finally allow him to wax vaguely spiritual about things while wearing beads.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter