Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in The Lone Ranger, he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Adorned with a dead black crow, headband and face paint, Depp said he knew his Tonto would need to go "against the grain of what had been done before, [he] knew it would require a very, very important iconic look."
Some critics aren't fans of Disney's Tonto and think that the character is a major setback for the Native American image.
Credit M.J. Alexander
Johnny Depp pauses on the red carpet before the Comanche Nation premiere of The Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.
Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.