June 02, 2013

Lone Ranger benefit for college fund

World Premiere Celebration for Disney's "Lone Ranger" to Benefit FundWalt Disney Studios Chairman, Alan Horn, announced today that ticket sales from the highly anticipated World Premiere of Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ “The Lone Ranger” will benefit the American Indian College Fund. The event will take place on Saturday, June 22, at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. A giant red carpet down the Park’s iconic Hollywood Boulevard will be lined with thousands of park guests cheering for the film’s stars, filmmakers and the many Hollywood celebrities in attendance. The Lone Ranger’s horse Silver will make an appearance and an actual train engine built for the film will be on display.

“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.”
Comment:  It's funny that these pro-Indian efforts--Depp's Navajo donations, his Comanche adoption, his Gathering of Nations greeting, etc.--came only after he revealed his take on Tonto and people began criticizing it. I wonder if there's a connection.

Quashing criticism

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
Johnny Depp’s controversial portrayal of Tonto in the upcoming Disney film “The Lone Ranger,” has prompted Disney to offer a peacepipe to Indian groups upset by the movie. Apparently nothing soothes the savage soul quite like money.

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.
Despite the stupid stereotypes, the article summarizes the problems nicely:“We’ve had a terrific collaboration with the Native American community throughout the production of Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger,’” said Horn in a statement.

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 to donate £1000 Lone Ranger ticket sales to American Indian charity

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
Attempting to quash criticism about the casting of Johnny Depp as the Lone Ranger's iconic Comanche sidekick Tonto, the Disney Co. will donate the revenue from all ticket sales for the movie's splashy premiere to the American Indian College Fund. Tickets to the premiere, to be held at Disney California Adventure Park, will cost $1,000 (660 pounds).

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.
For more on The Lone Ranger, see Inside Scoop on Lone Ranger and Depp Admires Tonto's Giant Nuts.

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