Author LeAnne Howe comments on Disney’s The Lone Ranger

Disney’s The Lone Ranger, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in the roles of Tonto and the Lone Ranger/John Reid, promised to challenge Hollywood stereotypes regarding Native people in the context of westerns and particularly the infamous role of the Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto.

The film, however, has failed to win over critics. Numerous Native scholars have voiced their opinion on the issue of Depp’s portrayal, including Aunt Lute’s own author, LeAnne Howe.

In an interview appearing in the News Bureau of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Howe explains that “American Indians have a long and complicated relationship with Hollywood films. Over the last 100 years, images of American Indians have populated Hollywood films so much so that when viewers see an Indian in a headdress they recognize the story as American…the film’s portrayal of Tonto is a continuation of a Hollywood tradition.”

Howe, who recently co-edited the book Seeing Red, Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film, has also been quoted in an article by Salon and the Central Illinois News-Gazette. Check out the full articles for a thought-provoking read!

You can now pre-order Howe’s third novel, Choctalking on Other Realities, set to be published this fall. Make sure to use Coupon Code CHOC to receive a special discount.

Sign up for our Quarterly Newsletter