The New Trailer for The Lone Ranger! (Video)

So the first trailer for “The Lone Ranger” is out today with Johnny Depp as Tonto in the Native American equivalent of blackface—warpaintface—and speaking in the chopped grammar that signifies “injun” in cartoons.

If you want to make someone sound Native American, you apparently just mess up some case agreements and use very few articles, like when Johnny Depp says, “There come a time when good man must wear mask.”

Look, I’m not going to come out and call the “Lone Ranger” trailer racist, but when Mickey Rooney played the Asian-American neighbor in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” always yelling at Horry Gorrrrightry you know what people called it? They called it racist. At the very least it’s super awkward.

Maybe we’re supposed to supposed to live in a new post-racial time when we don’t have to be so uptight about our differences. Which sounds great. No one cared when Fred Armisen wore a little makeup and a kinky wig to do Obama on SNL.

 It was kind of refreshing that it wasn’t a big deal, like a new cultural fluidity was part of what we earned in the bargain of being willing to elect a non-caucasian president. Obama’s blackness wasn’t the butt of Armisen’s joke, which made it ok.

But things are a little murkier in “The Lone Ranger” trailer. I don’t know, maybe warpaintface still feels more uncomfortable because Native Americans still live on reservations. The film actually shot at least partly on a Navajo reservation and seems to have a favorable relationship with the tribe. Still, the trailer seems a little awkward—watch below and let us know what you think.

VIDEO The Lone Ranger (2013) - Official Trailer

Responses to "Johnny Depp’s Native American-speak in ‘The Lone Ranger’ trailer is pretty awkward"

  1. M26E4UBB says:

    I think it's racist and I'm extremely offended by it. I’m also outraged that Depp stole the war paint of a great Native American warrior Crow Head. That war paint and regalia was sacred to that warrior and his personal signature, Depp and the studios had no business defacing it especially to make it a joke and part of this cartoon movie! I find the whole thing disgusting myself.

  2. Unknown says:

    makes me wonder if the white paint was to cover up the fact it is a white man in an odd reasoning? would have been great to have a native actor without the silly campy broken english...but this was a show for the whites originally and i guess they still are catering to them now...bummer because i like depp...

  3. YeYe says:

    I have always liked Johnny but I'm sure there plenty of great Native American actors. We just never see them

  4. Kali says:

    my point is that johnny depp ALWAYS makes you feel nervous and awkward. If this is racist then vampires everywhere should be offended, as well as pirates, mad hatters and people with scissors for hands.
    "this was a show for the whites" is hilarious. It's not about being white. It's about BEING JOHNNY DEPP. No other actor can touch his awkwardness. He is the height of awkwardness. and awkward = funny.
    We aren't laughing at you, Native Americans, and we're not laughing with you: we're laughing at JOHNNY DEPP.
    Get over yourselves.
    p.s. I have Native blood on both sides but I live with white privilege due to cross-breeding... not that it matters but I'm sure I'll be called a white girl or something for saying to get over yourself... whatever, just be humble before the great and powerful Johnny Depp.

  5. Anonymous says:

    johnny depp carries a very large percentage of first nations bloodline. kentucky locale. cherokee? this movie is no more racist than anything else out there portraying brown skinned people. earth people.(anyone got a whiff of zoe saldana channeling,weakly,nina simone??) we know that the broken english is because first nations people originally did not speak english,so whatever vocal adjustments had to go into speaking through a second tongue,you can best believe he did the work to make it legit. and johnny depp is NO hack actor. his work on this(vocal,physical,etc) would be rendered,skillfully and with great care(as he has been towards all the characters he creates as an artist). what he has gleaned in creating this 'character' is the same kind of work he or any great actor would have done to create a dimensional human being. it is what meryl streep did to portray margaret thatcher. and she got flack for that. throw stones,public people carry on with their lives anyway. i ain't hatin.'
    stolen regalia? how about from every football and baseball team in america? or the horrible halloween costumes we have to endure in catalogues. or hooker outfits. that stuff is stolen AND racist. this is a movie. fictionally realized at best. by bruckheimer,so we know its for whites. johnny depp will for sure receive a lot of flack for this. but as an artist,i cannot,could not have attended a better choice than mr. depp.
    peace to all.
    j. spears

  6. Bob says:

    In the end, it is still DISNEY and Disney don't care.

  7. Hard to believe so much money was spent bringing this to theaters. Any proceeds made from this movie ought to go to Native Communities to apologize for the rotten accent & tired metaphors.

  8. Anonymous says:

    With all due respect to Depp, there are PLENTY of Native American actors who could have done this but the fact remains the character of Tonto was written by a man who was clueless in clueless times. No Ndn would play this character it's not real it's Amos n Andy in redface

  9. Anonymous says:

    It's just Johnny being Johnny! it's a film, not a deep thought provoking film, it's entertainment for people that like this kind of stuff, know more, know less. He wouldnt be disrespectful on purpose hes's just doing his job.
    Will have to see what the rest is like, to say more. But regarding his face paint, there have been so many films in the past where it has been used.
    It really doesnt matter,if there is another film that uses it too.
    I hope he takes it off for abit tho, wanna see his gorgeous face !!
    luv u johhny xxx

  10. peacepipe johnson says:

    as a tribal member i was hoping for more, i was hoping depp would do it without the old tired accent thing. he didnt need to do that. it sorta cheapens the effect and makes it "awkward" to say the least. depp is a great actor and he was a weird choice with so many good native actors but making him talk in that old broken english when everything else looks updated has to be a dumb director thing. the lone ranger got a reboot, what happened to the tonto reboot we all hoped for? thumbs down, with reservations, and that pun is intended.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who owns all movie bussinesses? The whole world is controled by white racists. Lets not fall into the same pitfall and be careful of our comments which may be racist in itself. The best thing we can do is not to see these movies or buy these products. I'm most some of the people who comment here have bought Disnye products, Coka Cola, Pepsi etc., etc. Lets worry about keeping our culture alive in our homes, that's where it's most critical.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please post a YouTube link sonically illustrating how *all* people talked "back then"? That way we can bring some objecivity and fact-based proof to this conversation, in a self-evident style there for all to see.

  13. Anonymous says:

    OK, well, actually Depp stayed faithful to the original Tonto.... It is a flash from the past, and YES< i do remember. He is more convinciing than the 'Lone Ranger' for the short clip we see. Get over it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Native blood a few generations back doesnt identify anyone with that modern culture

  15. Unknown says:

    First, Depp wasn't chosen for this part because of his talent. He was chosen for his fame and that will make the movie a hit no matter how good his acting actually is. At this point he IS a character. Not to say that I don't enjoy the movies he is in. This role of Tonto, however, perpetuates stereotypes of Native Americans. That is never a good thing even if unintentional. Had a Native American actor been chosen perhaps the role would have been played with more sensitivity.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A load of shit. Thank you once again Hollywood for taking the goodness of the Native American people and using it to show host some major crap. Thanks one again for subliminising the masses to illude the mass of the western world into thinking nothing is sacret. You'll never eat your money.

  17. As if his pirate speak was any better. He is an actor, for crying out loud, particularly when in film. This has little if anything to do with his native heritage, in and of itself. This web site is chock full of the most ignorantly over romanticized and cross bred political corrective in the whole realm of mainstream "native press" of any kind. In fact, and this is a wake up smell the coffee moment, I am willing to bet my next paycheck (Warning: I do not make as much as Depp) that this is not even a valid Native run site, or if so, not done so by anybody of reasonable authority in that context. Anything, virtually, can find a life on the 'net, and this site proof of that. Hype is the bi factor and you see it here more than most places….

  18. Unknown says:

    I watch that clip and as a Native person it made me sick.

  19. cosmic lotus says:

    sober tonto version of jack sparrow...check some of the facial expressions. depp has enough native blood and affiliation to play the role and not be totally offensive. of course its for his name that will pull for the box office...but it looks like hollywood big effects, superb cinematography, shallow craperola. but will probably go see it anyway.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Being White = Job Security, Medical Benefits, Access to a better education, and a sense of Superiority. You deny this openly because your ancestors have programmed "this belief, this idea" into your culture through disinformation and has now helped the younger generation of white children to act as if they have an open invitation to portray any culture in any light or fashion they see fit; completely disrespecting others culture, heritage, and beliefs, thus giving the allure of "authenticity" which in reality is just "disinformation".

    Our school systems aren't in the business of creating "free thinkers"; its more like "We're creating a country of puppets" and when you truly look into American History you find that the "true Native Americans" discovered America, followed by the Chinese sometime in the early 1400's (who integrated with the people and accepted/respected/embraced the culture/lifestyle->Gavin Menzies), then Columbus. All historical/archaeological fact.

    I find alot of the info today hard to swallow because many of today's white youth dont know that their parents/grandparents refused to let people of color drink from the same water faucets, live in the same neighborhoods, ride the same bus, attend the same schools, enter relationships with whites just some 60±yrs ago yet here we are today with wifi, AmericanIdol, Netflix, and Barrack Obama

    Imagine if the truth was known...

  21. Unknown says:

    This world grows older everyday, has more people everyday. Everyday someones toes will be stepped on. Are things getting better. Maybe. We must work together for all and continue to pray, work ans help each other for better understanding...Jeff Sac

  22. Igor says:

    Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb...

  23. Anonymous says:

    Benjamin Bratt, Adam Beach, Lou Diamond Philips, Rudy Young-Blood, Wes Studi...Its not the fact that Depp isn't Native its the fact he sucks so bad at acting native and there are very great native actors that could have been offered the job and it pisses me off to know that a native can't even get a native gig.

  24. Unknown says:

    Speaking as an Anglo-Saxon, it's racist and dammit, it's time for stupid, inane myths to end.

    Let all people be who they are and let's enjoy the diversity, instead of perpetuating superiority of one race over another.

    GAH! Why can't we portray First People as coherent, intelligent leaders instead of grease painted sidekicks? Haven't we progressed any from the days of the linguistically challenged "ugh's' and "how's?"

    It's called respect and it's high time Hollywood and the rest of society stepped up and tried it.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think his broken english may be a little to fluent english.....how ever I don't have a clue how character may of actually talked I never knew him....at least the industry is bringing attention to our countries past.... debates are needed for children of the wronged to be heard and understood just a little....with out an attempt it will not happen... I applaud the effort

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