AP Story About Tonto Looks to ICTMN's Gyasi Ross and 'Tonto Files'


An Associated Press story about American Indians' conflicted feelings about the fictional character Tonto, sidekick of the Lone Ranger, consults two sources familiar to Indian Country Today Media Network readers.

The story leads off with remarks by Gyasi Ross, ringleader of this site's collective of writers (and a photographer), "The Thing About Skins." Ross recalls being teased as a kid with the nickname Tonto: "Everybody understands who Tonto is, even if we hadn't seen the show, and we understood [being called Tonto] wasn't a good thing," he says. "Why else would you tease someone with that?"

The article also pulled a quote by filmmaker Chris Eyre from a story written for ICTMN by Jessica Metcalfe, regarding Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto in the upcoming Disney film The Lone Ranger. “Based on Johnny Depp as an artist, and him going all the way, and making this film happen, in my book, [he] deserves some credit,” Eyre explained. “He wants to change the view of Tonto, and he put his reputation and his career on the line.” Metcalfe's piece is an installment of "The Tonto Files," an ongoing series on the topic.

The AP article also included quotes from "An Open Letter to Johnny Depp's Tonto" written by Natanya Pulley for McSweeneys.net, and comments from the president of the Lone Ranger Fan Club -- whose reaction to Depp's Tonto costume is an unqualified "Yuck."