June 28, 2012

Native roles on Longmire

Native Americans prominent on A&E TV show Longmire

By Roscoe Pond‘Longmire’ is a new hour-long mystery drama on the A&E cable TV network. It is based on the ‘Walt Longmire’ books written by Craig Allen Johnson. He was an executive consultant on this pilot episode. The production was filmed in Santa Fe, N.M. A&E has ordered 10 episodes. On its June 3 premiere ‘Longmire’ garnered 4.1 million TV viewers. It is the highest ratings ever for an A&E original series.And:You can watch full episodes of ‘Longmire’ on Hulu. The official A&E website has the most recent episode along with clips and interviews of the cast and crew. This excellent pilot episode had a prominent Native American cast. Marcus Red Thunder served as a technical advisor. A Martinez and Ryan Begay appear in episode 3 called, ‘A Damn Shame.’ Amber Midthunder is credited as a series regular by Internet movie database (IMDB).Pond also discusses a later episode:

Lou Diamond Phillips strong in 'Longmire' on A&E

By Roscoe Pond‘The Cancer’ (Episode 4) opens with a fisherman standing in the river near the reservation. He discovers two dead bodies floating under some wet brush. One of those bodies turns out to be a Cheyenne teen named Freddy White Hawk. Sheriff Walt Longmire portrayed by Robert Taylor breaks off two limbs of ‘sage.’ Out of respect he places them on the dead bodies in a tribal traditional way. They are covered with native designed Pendleton blankets.

Henry Standing Bear portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips is visibly shaken by Freddy’s death. He wants to help Longmire and brings in tribal officer Mathias, portrayed by Zahn McClarnon. He is an angry man who simply doesn’t want to help Longmire. The history between the Tribal police and the county sheriff’s department is long and ugly. They however are forced to work together. Mathias gives up information only out of sympathy for Freddy White Hawk.
Comment:  Looks like Longmire has several interesting Native plots and characters. Too bad the non-Native Phillips has the primary Native role. It's another example of redface casting from Hollywood.

For more on the subject, see Longmire Mysteries to Become TV Series.

Below:  Lou Diamond Phillips and Zahn McClarnon.


Anonymous said...

I'm letting a houseguest watch this show right now and I hate it.
The same old white guy in charge garbage.
I've never read the books, so the fact that the main character was Native American in the books is that more insulting.

EmmaS88 said...

Well the main character of Longmire is white in the books too. But I agree that the show is awful. The natives are still reduced to stereotypes and it's obnoxious as hell.