“We’ve had a terrific collaboration with the Native American community throughout the production of Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger,’” said Alan Horn, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “With the world premiere of this exciting film at hand, we are pleased to commemorate the occasion by supporting the American Indian College Fund.”
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Academy Award® winner Gore Verbinski, “The Lone Ranger” is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Johnny Depp stars as a newly imagined Tonto and Armie Hammer plays the masked lawman himself—the Lone Ranger.
Tickets for the premiere event have been donated by Disney to the American Indian College Fund, which will offer them for sale to the public; tickets will be available for purchase starting today. Because Disney is also underwriting the entire cost of the premiere, 100% of the revenues received by the American Indian College Fund for the tickets will be used for scholarships and other support for Native American students. Tickets are priced at $1000.
Fund President, Cheryl Crazy Bull, stated: “The Fund is pleased to be the beneficiary of this event because our scholarships are an investment in a healthier, more prosperous future for tribal students and their families. We are poised to serve over 20,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students attending the tribal colleges across this country. Currently our scholarships serve less than 21% of those students so we appreciate any opportunity to bring resources into our scholarship program.”
Other people have had similar thoughts:
Johnny Depp Tonto Protest Yields Disney Peace Offering
Movie Premiere Proceeds Will Go to Native American Scholarships
By TheImproper Staff
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn said proceeds from ticket sales to the film’s world premiere will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.
Well, not exactly.
Tonto is supposed to be a Comanche Indian, but Depp’s use of ghastly white facepaint and a dead crow headdress is not even close to authentic Comanche dress during the Old West era, according to Rod Pocowatchit, a Comanche Indian writing in the Wichita Eagle newspaper.
“[It] seems to imply ridiculousness for the sake of comedy,” he writes.
For the record, Depp said he drew his inspiration from a contemporary Indian painting by Kirby Stattler. But the portrait is illustrative and does not represent a real person or tribe.
Ladonna Harris, a Comanche and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, official adopted Depp into the tribe, a move that also drew some protests. Other Native Americans believe the role should have gone to a Native American actor.
Disney have reacted to criticism over casting Johnny Depp as American Indian Tonto by promising to donate revenue from the Lone Ranger premiere to the American Indian College Fund.
By John Hiscock
Critics have questioned whether it was appropriate to cast Depp as Tonto in the 150 million pounds movie, which will be the costliest release of the summer. Depp has promised that American Indians will be proud of his portrayal. "This Tonto isn't the obedient sidekick he has been portrayed as before," he says.