Outrage Watch: Johnny Depp can probably relate to this Marilyn Manson controversy

08.12.15 2 years ago

Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's semi-regular rundown of entertainment-related kerfuffles. Not anxious enough already? Get your fix of righteous indignation below, and stay posted for outrage updates throughout the week.

UPDATE (8/20/15, 7:11 PM ET): “Make Me a Martyr” co-writer and-director John Swab has since spoken out on the controversy, stating that Manson's hitman character in the film is not, in fact, Native (though he was depicted as such in an earlier version of the story):

“I was actually surprised to see the headline that said ‘Marilyn Manson to Play Native American Hit Man,” because I didn”t relay any information to Rolling Stone, and Manson and I had never had any conversation regarding him or his character being a Native, so I don”t know who got that wrong.

“Originally when we wrote the screenplay the character was supposed to be Native.  I”m from Tulsa, I have a Native background, not much, but enough to be familiar with it, so I wrote a Native character.”

(Indian Country Today Media Network via Color Lines)

ORIGINAL STORY:

Marilyn Manson presumably shares many interests in common with his good friend Johnny Depp — and one of them appears to be playing Native American characters on the big screen.

The rock icon is coming under attack from online commenters based on the trailer for his upcoming film “Let Me Make You a Martyr” (watch it here), in which Manson stars as a Native American hitman hired by “a drug dealer, pimp and all-around scumbag” (Mark Boone Junior) to hunt down the adult son (Niko Nicotera) who has turned against him.

“We choose @marilynmanson to play a Native American character when we have so many amazing Native actors? Why?” wrote Twitter user Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, who engaged in an extended rant against the musician on Wednesday.

But wait, not so fast, Megan! Marilyn Manson is, after all…part Native American?

“I am part Indian,” said Manson in an interview with Rolling Stone, which went on to note that Manson “did not know Pope was Native American when he took the role because the script didn't specify it.” That claim clearly didn't placate critics, some of whom charged that the nature of the role (cold-blooded, mohawked killer) perpetuates negative stereotypes against a historically marginalized group:

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As with Depp's casting as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger,” the other main grievance from critics is that a white man was hired for the part instead of a full-blooded Native American actor — a group also historically marginalized in the realm of mainstream Hollywood filmmaking:

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“They gave me one of those wooden, carved tom-tom drums and it was bound with animal hide and it was painted,” Manson continued of his alleged Native American relatives. “I just remember I ended up stealing the drum and never going back.” [He laughs.]

Ha.

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