April 26, 2013

Depp's Gathering of Nations greeting

Even more than the 20-minute Lone Ranger excerpt featuring wendigos, this video stirred up some antipathy in Indian country:



Depp continues his preemptive PR campaign to forestall criticism of his redface Tonto portrayal.

Sounds like he's reading off a teleprompter to me. Unnatural and not especially heartfelt or sincere.

I wonder if he thought he had to speak slowly and carefully for a Native audience. Not because they're stupid, but because they're dignified and spiritual and deserve respectful worship. Which is still stereotypical thinking, of course.

The candles are probably a similar idea: trying to look all natural and authentic to get down with his Native brothers and sisters. Because Indians still live in teepees without electricity, I guess.

Natives respond

Adrienne Keene's tweet on this video was:I can't believe this is real. Why the eff do we worship this guy??Another Native comment I saw was:Just saw a video of J Depp opening the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. Seriously? By the sounds of it, his English must be in its fourth iteration--baby talk English, Pirate English, TV NDN English, English with a TV NDN English accent.But the most detailed response so far was this:

Johnny, Johhny, Johnny. Are you kidding me? This is embarrassing for you and just plain stupid to those of us who get it.

By Michelle Hall Shining ElkYou know how there are people who tell you they want to help you, but you look at them and think to yourself "Yeah...thanks, but no thanks." Well that's what I thought when I watched this video. I thought that, and I thought "WTF were they thinking? Whyyyyyyy? Whyyyyyyyyy people! Whyyyyyyyyy!"

Anyways, I watched this and I think to myself...

1. Is he high? Is that why he is talking so slow (like a buffoon)?

2. He wasn't adopted by the Comanche Nation, he was adopted by a family of the Comanche Nation, neither of which make him a bona fide member of the Comanche Nation, nor a real Native. He remains, as he forever shall be, not Native.

3. What is the point of this...other than to try and make a pathetic attempt to convince his audience he is really and truly connected to our Indian community--as if he is one of us. Frankly, I couldn't understand what language he is speaking in this video, he lost me at "Greetings."
And:6. Does he think that we are so clueless that we don't know that if "that" film wasn't coming out in July, he would have remained as he always has always been--not interested in our people or communities.

7. Does he not know that we get that it's only because he is playing "that Indian" character in "that" film that he is doing stunts like the Comanche adoption, showing up at the Comanche Nation Fair, doing this video, and so on.

8. Does he believe that we don't see that he is so transparent that we see he truly doesn't have an ounce of respect for who we are, or what we are about. Because if he did, he would have rethought how he is portraying and playing "that Indian" character in "that" movie coming out in July.
For more on Johnny Depp, see Hammer Says Indians Love Depp and Little Criticism of Depp's Tonto?!

Below:  If Depp thinks his crow-head portrayal is honest and respectful, why doesn't he wear a crow-head today? When he appeared in the Comanche Nation's parade, for instance, or this video. Wouldn't that have been a great way to honor the Comanches he's portraying in the movie?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That crow head is...what is this i dont even. I mean, yeah, I know, it's a Kirby Sattler painting, so he's basing his wannabe off other wannabes because that's how memes (or if you prefer, mind viruses) work, and they don't yet have a vaccine for wannabeism.

Oh well, most Indians have a pet wannabe that we keep around for lulz.

Tony Rotherham said...

"It looks like he is reading off a teleprompt" because that is exactly what he is doing.