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-   -   [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers] (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=218587)

NotLKH July 3 2013 08:56 PM

[spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Which was the most controversial portrayal of an Indian?
Ricardo Montalban portraying Khan Noonian Singh;
Benedict Cumberbatch portraying John Harrison, an alias of Khan Noonian Singh, albeit perhaps plastic surguried into a british/white fascimile;
or Johnny Depp portraying Tonto, in Indian makeup?

CorporalClegg July 3 2013 09:04 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Tonto isn't Indian. He's American.

Ryan8bit July 3 2013 09:15 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
I think the Tonto thing is probably more controversial. For starters, given that in America we've had a history of repression against Native Americans, it instantly becomes a much touchier subject. And given that the character Tonto is basically all the stereotypes rolled in one, that makes it worse.

The Khan thing is at best just questionable, not even really that controversial. His race isn't firmly established, and he was previously played on screen by a fair skinned Mexican. It might have been nice if he wasn't a pale British guy, but I don't think it's quite in the same league as the Tonto stuff.

Mr. Laser Beam July 3 2013 09:20 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
I also think it's Tonto. Possibly because, IIRC, all onscreen portrayals of Tonto that aren't by Johnny Depp were actually done BY authentic Native American actors. And that even then, Tonto's dialogue is one big cliché anyway.

The BEST portrayal of a Native American that I'm aware of is Graham Greene in Maverick. He even turns the whole clichéd-Indian joke on his head:


Greg Cox July 3 2013 09:29 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian in HIGHLANDER. :)

Locutus of Bored July 3 2013 09:29 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Quote:

NotLKH wrote: (Post 8331835)
Which was the most controversial portrayal of an Indian?

Dennis Haysbert as Pedro Cerrano in Major League. I found his assertion that Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball offensive. And the way he cursed at Jo-bu? Heresy.

Mr. Laser Beam July 3 2013 09:33 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
^ :lol:

Belz... July 3 2013 09:50 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Quote:

Greg Cox wrote: (Post 8331976)
Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian in HIGHLANDER. :)

John Wayne as Gengis Khan ?

Opus July 3 2013 09:57 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau disguised as Mr. Lo Kee.

CorporalClegg July 3 2013 10:10 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Quote:

Greg Cox wrote: (Post 8331976)
Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian in HIGHLANDER. :)

Or Sean Connery as a British secret service spy disguised as Japanese.

Greg Cox July 3 2013 11:16 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Quote:

Belz... wrote: (Post 8332105)
Quote:

Greg Cox wrote: (Post 8331976)
Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian in HIGHLANDER. :)

John Wayne as Gengis Khan ?

You win!

Although HIGHLANDER gets WTF points for casting a French dude as the Scotsman and Connery as the Spaniard-slash-Egyptian!

(I mean, seriously, you're shooting a movie set in Scottish Highlands, you have Sean Connery, and you cast him as the guy who isn't Scottish? That's actively perverse!)

Cyke101 July 4 2013 09:07 AM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
I hate to say it, but in this day and age, Mickey Rourke is the frontrunner to play Genghis Khan in a new movie. There's something to be said about Hollywood's incredibly strong desire to:

1. Cast roles meant for minorities with white actors, especially when it comes to movies that seek to tell stories of other ethnicities
2. Create a period piece in a typically non-white nation, but still center it around a white character to frame it nonetheless (Chinese political revolution? Let's focus on the white priest. Thailand is devastated by a tsunami? Forget focusing on the locals, let's make the white tourists our main characters, who can afford to seek refuge outside the country.)
3. Suppress job opportunities for minority actors in the first place. It's one thing to say that actors have to work hard in order to get roles, which is obviously true. But if minority actors don't get roles, they don't build experience nor an audience that would pay to watch them, as well. It's a vicious cycle that leads to Hollywood leading roles not matching up with American racial demographics. And as the Fast and the Furious movies have shown, people *will* pay to watch a diverse cast in leading roles, but Hollywood doesn't seem to get that memo.

As for the controversy about Khan, the internal logic isn't perfect by any means, but externally, it really helped Montalban's career, who in turn fought to increase visibility for Latino actors, so that the Latino acting pool wouldn't be relegated to just a handful of brown people for leading roles. Indeed, we should consider the fact that Roddenberry intently cast a non-white for the role of Khan despite studio heads, and that the experience of playing a complex character like Khan partially inspired Montalban to create the Nosotros Foundation. Thus, in its own way, Khan being played by a Latino (or the fact that a Latino actor got to really show off his acting chops) was a trailblazing move in its own right, and Montalban's performance is one very strong reason why Khan is consistently ranked among sci-fi's greatest villains -- it showed 1960s audiences that Latino actors could be more than mere henchmen or drunks.

Belz... July 4 2013 10:45 AM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Don't forget Keanu Reeves as a Samurai !

Cjohnson1701 July 4 2013 10:49 AM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Ay, The sad thing is, Hollywood is a business. It affects a lot of things. Mickey Rourke is a well known quantity, even more so now when he played the villain in Iron Man 2 which was a blockbuster so his name alone will generate revenue, kinda like Christopher Nolan for the new Superman movie.

On that note though it's not only minority actors that are getting the shaft from hollywood, VFX houses have been getting screwed recently, and most work is done overseas for little pay. So for us westerners, it's a lot harder to get work in this industry and don't get me started on the gaming industry.

On topic though, Tonto for sure. Khan is defined by his superior intellect and ruthless brutality, rather then his racial origins, which is what Star Trek tries to tell us. It's not the race/gender/sexual orientation, it's all the other stuff underneath. The soul of a human being; our flaws, our strengths, and our motivations is what make us truly unique.

Johnny Depp playing Tonto, is just another loose impersonation of Silly Depp cause he's a hit with the Disney audience/demographic. Don't get me wrong though, Johnny Depp is a great actor if not one of the best, he just likes doing kid movies for his kids.

JarodRussell July 4 2013 12:30 PM

Re: [spoiler], Harrison, or Tonto [spoilers]
 
Quote:

Greg Cox wrote: (Post 8331976)
Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian in HIGHLANDER. :)

That's the great thing about Sean Connery!



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