Tonto? More Like No-No.
OK, so that was a pretty lame post title, but I haven’t had coffee yet.
Not to be a big Debbie Downer on the 4th, but someone recently asked me if I think it’s offensive that Johnny Depp is playing a native Indian in the new Lone Ranger movie.
(And btw, I’m going to use the word “Indian” referring to Native Americans, Indigenous People, First People… because the Indians I know tell me they use the term Indian. Really. Straight from the Indians’ mouths.)
My two cents? Acting is acting and I think the best person should get the job but it only makes sense that that should probably be within that part’s specific race if it’s designated as such. I.e. Denzel Washington is never going to slather himself in white makeup and play George Washington. Can you imagine? People would riot!! WTF white people?!
I think if an actor of Japanese descent plays a Korean character, so what? An Italian guy plays a Jewish character, Mexican American plays a Colombian American (heeeyyy Manny Delgado!), ok but a blue eyed caucasian playing an Asian character is just stupid and racist and Johnny Depp playing Tonto is gross. Asians and Indians seem to get screwed the worst in this arena as enough people finally realized it was racist to do it to a black role and Latino roles are coming along, but they still get screwed too. Anyway, here’s something to chew on:
I’m a tech moron so I don’t know how to put this link on here in a fancier way, but it is a small sampling. There are many, many more examples out there.
On a cheerier note… HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! As an immigrant to this country, my adoptive country and the only home I’ve known (I came here as a 5 month old) I am so proud to be an American. (please don’t sing that song) I am so grateful to live in a country where anything is possible, where I can stand on stage with a microphone and say anything I want – about religion, politics, sex, drugs, children, animals – ANYTHING. And then get paid for it! I’m grateful to live in a country where I am valued and was educated and where I know my daughter can achieve whatever she wants. I’m grateful to live in a country that supports me as a single mother. I’m truly living the American dream and there is no place else I would want to call home. This is my country.
Have a safe and happy 4th!