NAJA supports inclusion of diverse media in coverage of "The Lone Ranger"
While Disney has attempted to reach out to Native American audiences with the film, they have curiously forgotten to invite media from Indian Country to cover it.
National Native News, a national Native American radio program based in Albuquerque, N.M., made several requests for access to a press event in Santa Fe, N.M., June 19, however, these were not granted. Disney did issue a response to NNN at the conclusion of the event.
A large portion of the film was shot on the Navajo Nation. While some Native media groups were contacted about attending the film's premiere in Oklahoma, the New Mexico premiere has Native media groups that should have also been included in press events. New Mexico is home to 22 tribes, nations and Pueblos, as well as many NAJA members and Native reporters.
By Sarah Gustavus
The staff of Native America Calling and National Native News, produced by Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (a New Mexico In Depth partner), have reported on the progression of the film in recent years. In the past month, our staff went through the proper channels to request interviews with the cast and crew for our coverage of the official release of “The Lone Ranger.” Our repeated requests were either passed on to other Disney contacts or received no response.
It was a complete surprise to learn on Monday that a major press junket was taking place only an hour from our studios, in Santa Fe. We were not invited, but immediately requested press credentials. Our staff received a response from Disney after the press conference saying we could not be accommodated for the event because it was over.
Our staff also requested access to the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. An exclusive event tied to the premiere will raise funds for the American Indian College Fund, but our requests for media access were not immediately granted.
This is for a movie starring a Native character, remember. Do you think Disney would limit the black media at a movie about a black scientist, sports hero, or slave? I doubt it.
For more on Johnny Depp, see Depp Keeps His Ancestry Ambiguous and Skyhawk: Depp Is A Charlatan.