The Big Picture: The Lone Ranger: What Happened?

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4
 

You know, one of my favorite nostalgic movies is Short Circuit 2, you know, "Johnny 5 is alive." But there is something of an elephant in the room in that one of the main characters, Ben Javrie (NO idea if that's how you spell it) is a white guy wearing makeup to look indian (from India.) But Ben is basically Raj from the Big Bang Theory, he's brilliant but shy and awkward, and aside from his hilariously stereotypical accent there's really no reference to his ethnicity. I'm not going to say this fits in the same mold as Cloud Atlas but playing a different race doesn't have to be offensive in itself.

But don't get me wrong it's really kind of offensive here...he fed peanuts to a dead bird!

JimB:
Snip

Depp got the role because he's a famous actor that's currently very popular who's style of acting closely mirrors the character he's playing, and that's the reason he got the role, nothing else. Besides, the fact that he's white is the only problem, if Depp were Black or Asian or whatever instead of Native American next to nobody would be complaining, and that's one hell of a double standard.

JimB:
Snip

REAL issues of Racism/Sexism are people getting the s**t beat out of them or swinging from trees and things like that because of their Race/Gender. Those are real issues, something actually important that isn't just being petty for the sheer sake of being petty. Doesn't matter your race/gender, people complaining about something as ridiculous as a white guy ending up in the role of a Native American in a freaking MOVIE is just petty whining. The people that do this are so used to whining about the being victimized, so obsessed with their victimization that instead of celebrating the fact that they're comparatively rarely being victimized at all these days they instead latch on to anything that even remotely continues to victimize them no matter how unimportant so they can keep whining about it.

pottyaboutpotter1:
But didn't The Lone Ranger open at No.2 in the Box Office and has made over $100 million?

Bob already said that the film would earn some money, but not enough to play even with their budget which is 215 million.

Anyhow, Johnny Depp his ass officially belongs to Disney from now on. He has to do 3 PoC films just to appease the money grabbing 'gods' of The Walt Disney Company.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I would watch any movie just to see Johnny Depp in a weird hat. As for this:

JimB:
First Nations is the term to refer to the people who lived in America before the Pilgrims, right? Apologies if not

For a long time they were Indians. And then American Indians. And then Native Americans, and then First Americans, because apparently living in a place for 10,000 some years doesn't make you native (We're all Great Rift Valley natives, guys! Hell, I'm native to the cesspool that first spawned life on Earth! Or maybe the asteroid that brought the essential life-elements to Earth. I'm pretty sure this can't go farther than the singularity that was there before the Big Bang, right? No, not if you believe in String Theory.).

Point is, a rose by any other name... If you think Indians are roses. Frankly, I think the Swiss are roses.

spunkgarglewiwi:

Anyhow, Johnny Depp his ass officially belongs to Disney from now on. He has to do 3 PoC films just to appease the money grabbing 'gods' of The Walt Disney Company.

If he can't be a pirate, we should make him a Bounty Hunter. Or a Smuggler.

Phrostbit3n:

spunkgarglewiwi:

Anyhow, Johnny Depp his ass officially belongs to Disney from now on. He has to do 3 PoC films just to appease the money grabbing 'gods' of The Walt Disney Company.

If he can't be a pirate, we should make him a Bounty Hunter. Or a Smuggler.

For extra irony points, he should be a bounty hunter that hunts pirates!

Yojoo:

You're not getting me on the concept of "defined by race". Nick Fury was white for decades, sure. But you don't look at Nick Fury and think "If this character isn't white, he doesn't make sense". Same with Perry White. Tonto, on the other hand, clearly has to be a Native American for his character to make sense.

Idris Elba playing Heimdall is fine because Asgardians aren't human. Thor isn't a movie about Norse mythology, it's a movie about badass aliens who at one point influenced mankind enough that they were worshiped as gods. That's a blank slate for casting purposes. As has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, there aren't enough roles for black or other minority actors in Hollywood. So picking a traditionally minority role and filling it with a white actor is pretty lame. On the other hand, I have no problems with minority actors filling roles that may have been white in the past but aren't defined as being white roles.

All I'm looking for is a little equality and respect. Depp in Redface is just as wrong as another actor in Blackface. This applies in both directions: It totally wouldn't have worked to cast a black actor as Captain America without extensively re-writing the story, since a black man becoming the face of America in the 1940's when the nation was still so heavily segregated would have been impossible, or would have totally altered the history of the nation. There's no reason Bruce Banner couldn't be black, though.

Anyway, I'll try to stop rambling. Black Panther needs to be a black actor with African roots, it shouldn't matter how far back one has to look to find those roots. I don't know who Mr. Terrific is, so I can't comment on that. Maybe Depp's star power was the only reason Lone Ranger made any money at all, but as Bob pointed out, the movie didn't have to be made in the first place, or it could have been made on a lower budget with an actual First Nations actor in the Tonto role and not had to make hundreds of millions to be a success.

First off, thanks for responding to my post in a civil manner and responding to the post as a whole, instead of the asshole tactic of picking sentences to debate. It makes for not only a better conversation, but also an actual conversation.

Anyway...I...actually agree with you on some parts. Particularly the blackface reference. I never really thought of it like that, as it's not as blatantly obvious (to me) or nearly as offensive, in my opinion. I think of it more as Hollywood casting a White woman as the queen of Egypt, or making a movie about Black music in The Cotton Club and making it solely about the White only patrons, instead of the Black musicians. Or how every time you see Jesus, he's usually white. To me, it's just business as usual in Hollywood, but you are right.

This stuff probably shouldn't be happening any more but I can't blame Disney wanting to make the movie or for Depp for wanting the role, or Disney again for wanting one of the biggest stars in Hollywood to make a franchise out of it.

immortalfrieza:
Depp got the role because he's a famous actor that's currently very popular whose style of acting closely mirrors the character he's playing, and that's the reason he got the role, nothing else.

I assume you wouldn't be saying this unless you had demonstrable proof behind the mindsets of the casting directors and decision-makers.

immortalfrieza:
Besides, the fact that he's white is the only problem.

Yes, the fact that white people in America have a history of oppressing the native population is in fact a relevant part of the problem, and no one ever said it isn't.

immortalfrieza:
If Depp was black or Asian or whatever instead of Native American next to nobody would be complaining, and that's one hell of a double standard.

Yeah. If. Meaning it hasn't happened, and you are complaining about an imaginary hypocrisy that is only hypocritical in the first place if you ignore the context of the complaint.

immortalfrieza:
Real issues of racism/sexism are people getting the shit beat out of them or swinging from trees and things like that because of their race/gender.

But being denied jobs because of their race or gender, even though the entire point of those jobs is to portray members of that race or gender, which jobs are then given to someone else because they figure a member of the wrong race or gender can do a better job or portraying them than the real deal...yeah, no, you're totally right, that's not a problem. Only physical abuse counts as racism.

Also, permit me to point out that you are still here complaining about the problem you say complaining about is nothing but petty whining.

Phrostbit3n:
For a long time they were Indians. And then American Indians. And then Native Americans, and then First Americans, because apparently living in a place for 10,000 some years doesn't make you native.

And all of those terms are imprecise. Indians are people from India, not America; American Indians would be people who have lived in both America and India; Native Americans is accurate, but it doesn't cover the truth very well because I am also native to America and I'm white enough that you could use my blood as bleach; I don't much like First Americans either because that is a label that applies to people, not to nations.

Mr_Terrific:

Yojoo:

You're not getting me on the concept of "defined by race". Nick Fury was white for decades, sure. But you don't look at Nick Fury and think "If this character isn't white, he doesn't make sense". Same with Perry White. Tonto, on the other hand, clearly has to be a Native American for his character to make sense.

Idris Elba playing Heimdall is fine because Asgardians aren't human. Thor isn't a movie about Norse mythology, it's a movie about badass aliens who at one point influenced mankind enough that they were worshiped as gods. That's a blank slate for casting purposes. As has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, there aren't enough roles for black or other minority actors in Hollywood. So picking a traditionally minority role and filling it with a white actor is pretty lame. On the other hand, I have no problems with minority actors filling roles that may have been white in the past but aren't defined as being white roles.

All I'm looking for is a little equality and respect. Depp in Redface is just as wrong as another actor in Blackface. This applies in both directions: It totally wouldn't have worked to cast a black actor as Captain America without extensively re-writing the story, since a black man becoming the face of America in the 1940's when the nation was still so heavily segregated would have been impossible, or would have totally altered the history of the nation. There's no reason Bruce Banner couldn't be black, though.

Anyway, I'll try to stop rambling. Black Panther needs to be a black actor with African roots, it shouldn't matter how far back one has to look to find those roots. I don't know who Mr. Terrific is, so I can't comment on that. Maybe Depp's star power was the only reason Lone Ranger made any money at all, but as Bob pointed out, the movie didn't have to be made in the first place, or it could have been made on a lower budget with an actual First Nations actor in the Tonto role and not had to make hundreds of millions to be a success.

First off, thanks for responding to my post in a civil manner and responding to the post as a whole, instead of the asshole tactic of picking sentences to debate. It makes for not only a better conversation, but also an actual conversation.

Anyway...I...actually agree with you on some parts. Particularly the blackface reference. I never really thought of it like that, as it's not as blatantly obvious (to me) or nearly as offensive, in my opinion. I think of it more as Hollywood casting a White woman as the queen of Egypt, or making a movie about Black music in The Cotton Club and making it solely about the White only patrons, instead of the Black musicians. Or how every time you see Jesus, he's usually white. To me, it's just business as usual in Hollywood, but you are right.

This stuff probably shouldn't be happening any more but I can't blame Disney wanting to make the movie or for Depp for wanting the role, or Disney again for wanting one of the biggest stars in Hollywood to make a franchise out of it.

Rational, civil discourse? On the interwebs? Zounds!

To be fair, while I agree with Bob that Depp shouldn't have been Tonto, Bob still does seem a little more incensed about it than I am. Most reviews call this movie terrible as a whole, and I like Depp in most roles, so pinning the whole mess on one casting choice seems a bit much.

I just want Hollywood to continue diversifying, and missing a chance like casting Tonto with a First Nations actor is troubling.

Semi-tangential thought: Donald Glover auditioned for the role of Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man. I would have infinitely preferred him to Andrew Garfield.

JimB:
Snip

Demonstrable proof? Show me a famous and very popular Native American actor who's acting style closely mirrors Tonto's characterization. I'll bet anything you can't find one and in the off chance that you do, how many of them actually bothered to audition?

JimB:

Yes, the fact that white people in America have a history of oppressing the native population is in fact a relevant part of the problem, and no one ever said it isn't.

Considering that is no longer true in any meaningful sense and hasn't been for decades, it's irrelevant. People of ALL races and genders have it SO much better in the USA than they used to in pretty much every possible way, there's hardly any inequality of significance left anymore. They've all in a comparative paradise and yet they all still complain.

JimB:

Yeah. If. Meaning it hasn't happened, and you are complaining about an imaginary hypocrisy that is only hypocritical in the first place if you ignore the context of the complaint.

Considering that characters that have only ever been white have been portrayed by people of other races plenty of times and when that happens hardly anybody gives a damn especially compared to when it's the other way around, I'd say that's pretty hypocritical.

immortalfrieza:

But being denied jobs because of their race or gender, even though the entire point of those jobs is to portray members of that race or gender, which jobs are then given to someone else because they figure a member of the wrong race or gender can do a better job or portraying them than the real deal...yeah, no, you're totally right, that's not a problem. Only physical abuse counts as racism.

It's not racism or sexism for one race or gender to get ANY jobs more than another, it's just the natural result of how many workers of a particular race/gender there are, plus how well they do those jobs, plus how little they are willing to work for. Businesses want to do 2 things, get the most competent people possible working for them at the lowest possible cost to them, and if there's more people of a particular race asking for that job than another more people of that particular race are going to get it, and it's the same deal with jobs in any other country.

The white actors get parts as characters of other races than them because 1. there's WAY more white actors than of any other race and 2. in general they are just better at actually ACTING than people of other races are, and the same can be said for most jobs. In fact, racism has actually gone the other way these days, people are complaining that illegal aliens and outsourcing to other countries are taking jobs away from everyone else, that includes white people, Native Americans, Black people, etc. Pretty much all races are in the same boat when it comes to losing jobs to each other.

JimB:

Also, permit me to point out that you are still here complaining about the problem you say complaining about is nothing but petty whining.

Ah... no. I'm 1 guy complaining about thousands upon thousands of people incessantly, endlessly whining about Racism/Sexism all the time, and pretty much all of it being unimportant. I don't see thousands upon thousands of people shouting my position from the rooftops to the point that it becomes really REALLY annoying.

immortalfrieza:
In general [white people] are just better at actually acting than people of other races are, and the same can be said for most jobs.

Ohhhhhhh. I get it. Right, I should have seen this sooner. You're one of those people who argues that most instances of racism aren't racism, they're just instances of how white people are generally superior to people of other races and anyone who doesn't like that is just jealous of how awesome white people are. I should probably keep arguing you on this just on principle, but god, I get so worn out arguing in circles with people who would say this kind of thing. I'm going to let someone else who has the energy for it tackle this crap.

JimB:
Snip

It's not a matter of superiority, it's simply stating a fact. It's the effect of numbers, if there are lot more people of 1 race doing something than of any other race, as a consequence there's going to be more people of that race that are better at doing that thing than other races. Take a look at movies and T.V. shows made in Mexico and tell me that the few white actors out there are better than the countless more Mexican ones.

immortalfrieza:

For extra irony points, he should be a bounty hunter that hunts pirates!

That's mentally insane and has a chocolate fetish?

OH THE TIE-IN'S!!!

JimB:

immortalfrieza:
In general [white people] are just better at actually acting than people of other races are, and the same can be said for most jobs.

Ohhhhhhh. I get it. Right, I should have seen this sooner. You're one of those people who argues that most instances of racism aren't racism, they're just instances of how white people are generally superior to people of other races and anyone who doesn't like that is just jealous of how awesome white people are. I should probably keep arguing you on this just on principle, but god, I get so worn out arguing in circles with people who would say this kind of thing. I'm going to let someone else who has the energy for it tackle this crap.

Yeah it's funny right?
Anyone see last of the Mohicans? Lots of good native actors around if the producers actually go out and look for them.

Let's look at some examples.

Silver Fox (Wolverine Origins) - White
Tonto (Lone Ranger) - White
Werewolf guy (Twilight) - White

Just three big budget, glaring examples of people casting white people into native roles.
Don't give a shit that Silver Fox's actress is "part cherokee", she sure as fuck doesn't look cherokee, neither does Johnny Depp, neither does the Twilight guy who is supposed to be native american from what I understand.

Btw the guy you're responding to is on my ignore list. I think you're beginning to understand why.

Immortalfrieza, you do realize that acting styles are different in other countries and it's not just because they suck at acting? Mexican soaps are done like that intentionally. Not every country goes for the more natural, realistic style that the Hollywood does. In fact I'd say that exaggerated is acting style is actually pretty popular around the world. I've seen lot of J and K dramas that employ a same larger than life style of acting. It does take some used to when you're predominately used to consuming western media, but it's pretty arrogant to say white actors would do better in those roles when white actors are most not even used to doing that style. There are plenty of Japanese and Latino actors that don't use that style and do just fine in Hollywood and as has been pointed out there are also plenty of Native American actors that could taken the role of Tanto.

As for Depp's portrayal of Tonto....no Depp is not the only actor that knows how to play an eccentric character, in fact it's not that hard to do. Loooots of actors have done eccentric characters in their careers, and you know what? They don't play it as over the top or as stale as Depp has become with it. Depp a great actor but he's gotten stuck into this one character whenever he does this kind of movie, I'd much rather give someone else a chance than watch Depp embarrass himself again playing the same damn character with no nuance.

Zachary Amaranth:

Hutzpah Chicken:

Anyways, why is it not okay for Johnny Depp to play a fictional native American when most Indians in westerns were played by Jewish men?

Yeah, why should things be different than 60 years ago?

And while we're at it, blackface is still cool, right?

I see. You want everyone to just get along in a big happy world. You have fun with that.

immortalfrieza:

JimB:
Snip

It's not a matter of superiority, it's simply stating a fact. It's the effect of numbers, if there are lot more people of 1 race doing something than of any other race, as a consequence there's going to be more people of that race that are better at doing that thing than other races. Take a look at movies and T.V. shows made in Mexico and tell me that the few white actors out there are better than the countless more Mexican ones.

So, because a history of racism has made A-list acting a predominantly male/white job, we should just shrug and keep it that way?

By this logic, the best Presidents of the United States are white men, since they've all been white. We should never elect a minority again.

Yeah, you're right in that for every Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman there are ten white actors of comparable skill. That's not a good thing. That's something to be changed.

Yojoo:
Snip

It's something that's pretty much impossible to change. There are way more white actors in this country, so way more white actors get most of the roles, so way more white actors get experience, so that experience makes those white actors better actors, so they get most of the roles, and so on and so on. It's a endless cycle that applies to jobs in general no matter what country you're talking about, one that will always favor the race/gender that is the most numerous. The same thing would be true of Mexican actors in Mexico Vs. any other race, or Black actors in Africa Vs. any other race, etc. it's just the way things work. It's not racism that keeps white actors in the U.S. prominent despite all this time, but the fact that white actors are just more appealing to film makers in pretty much every possible way. The other races can work to make themselves appear as the better option, but due to the way things work it's like trying to climb a mountain that's been covered in grease, sure you might make SOME progress, but it's going to take a long time just to barely accomplish anything.

JimB:

Hutzpah Chicken:
Why is it not okay for Johnny Depp to play a fictional Native American when most Indians in westerns were played by Jewish men?

It's not really appropriate for those Jewish guys to have done it either. The problem is that there are actual First Nations actors (First Nations is the term to refer to the people who lived in America before the Pilgrims, right? Apologies if not) who did not get the role in favor of giving it a white man. White men do not need more jobs in Hollywood. There are other actors out there of the appropriate race who would have been at least as good for the role as Johnny Depp, yet none of them were cast because there's a white dude who wanted the job. Given America's history of white people taking whatever we want from the native population, that's a serious dick move.

I think this is all nonsense. Let Actors ACT. If a white man can act a role better than an Indian, why care? If that same Indian can act a role better than a White, let him. Why can't people get their jobs based on what they can DO anymore? Isn't it the very epitome of racism to tell ANYONE "Sorry, your skin is wrong so you can't do this job?"

Yojoo:

immortalfrieza:

JimB:
Snip

It's not a matter of superiority, it's simply stating a fact. It's the effect of numbers, if there are lot more people of 1 race doing something than of any other race, as a consequence there's going to be more people of that race that are better at doing that thing than other races. Take a look at movies and T.V. shows made in Mexico and tell me that the few white actors out there are better than the countless more Mexican ones.

So, because a history of racism has made A-list acting a predominantly male/white job, we should just shrug and keep it that way?

By this logic, the best Presidents of the United States are white men, since they've all been white. We should never elect a minority again.

Yeah, you're right in that for every Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman there are ten white actors of comparable skill. That's not a good thing. That's something to be changed.

No, what he's saying is that having a mass majority of White Presidents is no reason to go "Duh, it won't be fair unless we elect only blacks for the next 200 years!" Let whoever is better at the job do the job. What you look like is of NO CONSEQUENCE AT ALL.

Bluestorm83:
I think this is all nonsense. Let actors act.

Let white actors act at the expense of racially appropriate actors, who tend only to get cast if a role specifically calls for a member of their race? No, thank you. I do not find that to be an egalitarian solution to the problem.

Bluestorm83:
If a white man can act a role better than an Indian, why care?

Are you arguing that no First Nations actor could have done a better job than Johnny "watch me feed my kooky hat a peanut" Depp? Is that your position?

Bluestorm83:
Why can't people get their jobs based on what they can do anymore?

Like they could back in the days of Jackie Robinson, whose ability to play baseball was totally never considered irrelevant in the face of his blackness?

Bluestorm83:
Isn't it the very epitome of racism to tell anyone, "Sorry, your skin is wrong so you can't do this job?"

No, the epitome of racism is to tell anyone that one race is superior to another or that one race is more welcome than another. That is the message being sent by casting a white man in this role in an industry made almost entirely of white people or people who can pass for white.

Bluestorm83:
No, what he's saying is that having a majority of white presidents is no reason to go "Duh, it won't be fair unless we elect only blacks for the next 200 years!"

Okay, but no one proposed that, so I'm not sure what you're arguing against.

Bluestorm83:

No, what he's saying is that having a mass majority of White Presidents is no reason to go "Duh, it won't be fair unless we elect only blacks for the next 200 years!" Let whoever is better at the job do the job. What you look like is of NO CONSEQUENCE AT ALL.

Basically. Political correctness is taken way too far these days, to the point that it's becoming racism/sexism in and of itself. The ONLY issue with Depp playing Tonto is he's white, just that, screw his popularity and acting ability. Depp could be the most popular and best actor in the history of cinema and people would still be crying bloody murder over him playing Tonto. The funny thing? If Tonto was played by ANY other race besides white, nobody would be saying a thing. When a black/Asian/Mexican/whatever actor takes the place of a character who's traditionally been white, anyone who complains the same way the people here are complaining about Depp being Tonto would be told to shut up and get over it.

Oh great he had to bring up Spider Man again.

Done with your videos Bob. I'm not watching them again. Fair enough you don't like the film but you've brought it up in every single episode for about 4 months and I'm sick of it, especially as a fan of a film. The film's been out a year and you just look petty and unprofessional now.

I'm out.

Funny that The Lone Ranger was actually LESS racist in the 50s than it is now. That's progress for you.

I was hoping this movie to be good. Not for Depp, but for Armie Hammer.
This guys has interesting presence on screen and I seriously hope for him that he'll get his big break sooner than later.
I don't really mind Depp, but I mind him being at the forefront of a movie when he shouldn't based on his character.
Lone Ranger being a good example, but I can't help but think about Alice in Wonderland.
Mad Hatter is NOT a central character to the story and it sucked that they made the movie about him so that they can put Depp on the poster.

immortalfrieza:

Bluestorm83:

No, what he's saying is that having a mass majority of White Presidents is no reason to go "Duh, it won't be fair unless we elect only blacks for the next 200 years!" Let whoever is better at the job do the job. What you look like is of NO CONSEQUENCE AT ALL.

Basically. Political correctness is taken way too far these days, to the point that it's becoming racism/sexism in and of itself. The ONLY issue with Depp playing Tonto is he's white, just that, screw his popularity and acting ability. Depp could be the most popular and best actor in the history of cinema and people would still be crying bloody murder over him playing Tonto. The funny thing? If Tonto was played by ANY other race besides white, nobody would be saying a thing. When a black/Asian/Mexican/whatever actor takes the place of a character who's traditionally been white, anyone who complains the same way the people here are complaining about Depp being Tonto would be told to shut up and get over it.

Unfortunately, we don't have a situation where 'whoever is the best at the job will get it'.

Do you honestly think a non-white actor has the same chances of playing important roles as a white guy?

You have a situation where white people get the best parts anyway, and then they don't cast non-white people even in roles meant for them.

Also, this is not the same as changing a character's ethnicity. This is not the case of taking a character whose ethnicity isn't important and changing their skin-colour, this is portraying a character that's supposed to be certain ethnicity with someone who isn't even close.
This is more akin Will Smith playing Captain America in whiteface.

Bluestorm83:
Why can't people get their jobs based on what they can DO anymore?

Anymore? When was this magical timeperiod when your skincolour or ethnicity didn't matter and people deciding on casting movies like this didn't care about those things at all?

EDIT: I'd like to say that Depp playing Tonto seems to be the least of this film's problems. And even if you completely ignore the racism-angle, you still have a situation where Depp was cast not because they thought he'd be the best for the role, but because Depp in a silly hat = money. And I don't think that's an admirable practise. And it doesn't even work for them, seeing how this movie was a bomb.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here