March 02, 2014

Faux Indians at the 2014 Oscars

After the run-up to the Oscars:

Twitter storm planned for Oscars
Before the #NotYourTonto storm

Here's what I tweeted before and during the ceremony:

Who wants to bet that the only "Indian" we'll see at the Oscars tonight is a shot of Johnny Depp playing Tonto in redface? #NotYourTonto

Naturally, Johnny Depp as Tonto in #redface was the first (and only?) Indian or faux Indian to appear at the #Oscars. #NotYourTonto

2nd appearance of an Indian or faux Indian at the Oscars: Johnny Depp as Tonto in redface in a visual effects clip. #NotYourTonto

3rd appearance by Indians or faux Indians: the savage cannibals in "Pirates of the Caribbean." Also starring Johnny Depp. #NotYourTonto

4th and 5th appearances by Indians or faux Indians: Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack and a hint of Will Sampson in "Cuckoo's Nest." #NotYourTonto

No real Indians

My first tweet was retweeted several dozen times. And it proved to be accurate, of course.

At least The Lone Ranger didn't win for it makeup or visual effects. That's something, I guess.

If you stretched, you could claim Angelina Jolie and Jessica Biel represented Natives at the ceremony because they supposedly have a tiny amount of Native blood. But I don't count them.

Someone noted that actor August Schellenberg, who died last year, wasn't included in the "In Memorium" section. Since Russell Means wasn't included the year before, I wouldn't expect the Academy to include the lesser-known Schellenberg.

Oddly, Schellenberg is included in the longer memorium list at But not in a similar list I have no idea what's up with that.

For more on the subject, see Indians at Previous Oscar Ceremonies and Racism at the 2013 Oscars.

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