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Sometimesnotfunny t1_ja9btwm wrote

The crying Native American was Italian.


varietydirtbag t1_jaa39l2 wrote

Such a crazy story, but at some point I think he was genuinely accepted as a part of a Native American tribe.


Sometimesnotfunny t1_jaa8haa wrote

I don't know enough to say either way, but his wikipedia article (grain of salt) mentions he claimed Native American pretty much his whole life, but pretty much everybody questioned it. Especially when your birth name is Espera De Corti.


varietydirtbag t1_jaa9m7n wrote

So yes he's Italian and lied about it his whole life. He played Native American's in film and TV but he was eventually accepted into a tribe even though he was of Italian decent. It was a while ago I read the story so can't remember the specifics how this happened.


Sometimesnotfunny t1_jaae8cv wrote

You're probably right, especially if he portrayed NA folks in a positive way, and not as hatchet-wielding bloodthirsty savages as history is wont to do.


Dorocche t1_jab3906 wrote

Positive compared to his contemporaries, at least


Bearman71 t1_jabusy3 wrote

I mean they were though. The plains natives were absolutely fucking brutal people.


Sometimesnotfunny t1_jadc5ch wrote

In response to what was happening to them or in general? Context matters. If you're pulling my rug out from under me, yeah, I'm gonna be Savage.


Bearman71 t1_jadmwa6 wrote

In general, their brutality didn't magically start when Europeans moved in, they had a long brutal culture long before then.


cinnamon-eater t1_jaewk6x wrote

Can you describe... anything at all about this supposed brutality?


Bearman71 t1_jaeygb2 wrote

Murdering other tribes for resources and stealing children?


WikiSummarizerBot t1_jaa8ixw wrote

Iron Eyes Cody

>Iron Eyes Cody (born Espera Oscar de Corti, April 3, 1904 – January 4, 1999) was an American actor of Italian descent who portrayed Native Americans in Hollywood films, famously as Chief Iron Eyes in Bob Hope's The Paleface (1948). He also played a Native American shedding a tear about litter in one of the country's most well-known television public service announcements from the group Keep America Beautiful. Living in Hollywood, he began to insist, even in his private life, that he was Native American, over time claiming membership in several different tribes. In 1996, Cody's half-sister said that he was of Italian ancestry, but he denied it.

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majorjoe23 t1_jabcwek wrote

Seems like crying "Indian" would have been more accurate.


WiseChoices t1_ja8vfzh wrote

I don't think anyone in this generation can imagine the enormous impact that this had on American hearts.

It was important.

It is important.


MagicPeacockSpider t1_ja91uch wrote

Sadly while it may have appeared to be to stop littering and protect the environment it wasn't.

It was the plastics lobby shifting the blame onto consumers for plastic waste and littering because there has started to be some ideas of banning it or taxing it.


cdiddy19 t1_ja92hmq wrote

Yup their reports came out that they were polluting the earth, so they shifted the blame to the everyday man


WiseChoices t1_ja924f0 wrote

To me, what it changed was our heart attitudes for the Earth.

Greed continues to destroy it. Sad, but true 👍


gopher_space t1_ja9qht2 wrote

There were grassroots anti-littering campaigns all over the place back then, so it was an easy sentiment to tap into. It's really hard to convey how OK everyone used to be about littering.

If you've seen Anchorman there's a little bit where the news team are eating hotdogs and walking through a park. They come up to a trash can but throw their dogs on the ground before tipping the can over. Then they just walk away and there's no explanation. That was normal life until the 80s.


derpy-_-dragon t1_jabgmvq wrote

I remember watching an episode of Madmen for my English writing class in college where the family went out for a picnic at the park, and when they finished they just flapped the sheet to toss the trash off of it and then put the blanket in the trunk.


Wobbley19 t1_ja9f6yd wrote

Yep and they got this poor guy hook line and sinker, clearly believes it’s the individual and not the companies fault


user-name-1985 t1_ja90dd3 wrote

I only knew about it from retrospective/nostalgia shows on TV in the late 90s.


WiseChoices t1_ja913t2 wrote

It hit people like a wave of reality.

Everyone was talking about it.

Many things changed because of it.

A history making image.


user-name-1985 t1_jaa27b7 wrote

Even though the native guy was played by an Italian actor?


nethermead t1_jabacpe wrote

Even though the ad campaign was bought and paid for by the plastics industry that wanted to preemptively shift the moral responsibility of cleaning up their shit to the regular joe so that they wouldn't have to foot the bill and could happily keep pumping out cheap plastic bags and bottles that now clutter the oceans as vast floating islands of semi-toxic flotsam?


Merky600 t1_jacs3sh wrote

Yes. I’m older and remember this as a kid. Very young kid.

Us kids probably keyed into this more, taking to the heart, as they say. The older generation I imagine rolled their eyes. Their attitude toward litter was “trashy” to be sure. I can recall opening the package of some toy in the backseat of a car on family trip. I asked what should do w the packaging. “Oh just toss it out the window,” was the reply. So I did. Can’t remember the toy but remember the cardboard fling out the window.
And cigarettes.
To people who smoked, the whole world was an ash tray.

Also as kids, we were closer the litter. Literally. Walking home from school we could see it all at our feet. So the subject of litter was relevant.


5050Clown t1_jabbwtz wrote

It's one of the many contributing factors that cause right-wing conservatives to look at Native American faces and then tell them to go back to Mexico. They were replaced by Europeans in their mind. Just like Jesus.


Eroe777 t1_ja9e7dm wrote

You mean The Crying Italian?


jhra t1_ja9bhpj wrote

The guy in the video Espera Oscar de Corti of Scillian decent spent a lifetime claiming to first Nations. Iron Eyes Cody was his assumed name.

Wrote a book about aboriginal sign language too. His story is a wild ride


Onatall t1_ja93mks wrote

Hmmm …it was effective in making me concerned about littering as a child. I’d say it was a good thing.


Mapleson_Phillips t1_ja9q8yu wrote

Did you litter a lot before you saw the ad? Don’t let the nostalgia cloud your thinking.


Fonky_Fesh t1_ja95gqm wrote

"Once again, we're sorry about your land. Here's something ELSE you can exploit for money!"


cypher109 t1_jaa38h9 wrote

I don't understand, what do you get with "ad rights"?


censorized t1_jaacnln wrote

The right to make sure no one uses it again.


cypher109 t1_jaae38e wrote

Ohhh gotcha. Thanks.


Dorocche t1_jab3i1r wrote

Or the right to make some money when you let people use it again. Your choice.


RiotingMoon t1_jaalvga wrote

I think giving actual Native Americans the rights to ads featuring one of the most famous Pretendians is sorta good news. The ads were tokenizing bullshit that shifted blame for corporations to individuals - but hey... small positives make this group function I guess.

however - the fact that a pretendian got more roles and prestige than actual indigenous actors is not uplifting. but I'm native so what do I know.


RealTurtlePower t1_jab69y7 wrote

He was an atrocity to Natives, but he had his heart in the right place I guess, the one we need to cancel is John Wayne, he hated Natives and Blacks so damn much.


internetmovieguy t1_ja9iozk wrote

Is this that add where the native guy is crying when someone litters?


oilhands t1_jab4blz wrote

Yeah, crying Sicilian-American pretend Native-American ad.


williamsonny t1_jaazm3n wrote

The crying Indian in the famous "Keep America Beautiful" public service announcement from the 1970s was actually an Italian-American actor named Iron Eyes Cody, whose birth name was Espera Oscar de Corti. Despite his Italian ancestry, he portrayed a Native American in many films and commercials throughout his career and was known for his advocacy for Native American causes.


reversebackwards t1_jad71vy wrote

There's more to the story of this ad than the problematic Italian Indian situation.

Keep America Beautiful, the nonprofit who made this ad, was started by beverage can manufacturers and gets lots of funding from other companies whose products become this litter: McDonalds, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Phillip Morris, etc

They have a long history of working against legislation that would make industry responsible for litter such as bottle return bills and shifting public opinion toward individual responsibility and thereby away from industry responsibility.


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Nickster8074 t1_jaaogl9 wrote

Isn’t he the guy from “Ernest goes to Camp”?!


poopagore t1_jaaor98 wrote

I'm should probably just read the article bc im confused how you can take the rights from a commercial lol


kompootor t1_jabxp18 wrote

Those who think the ad was poorly received in the Native American community at the time should read the article. Those who think that an NA group has the rights where an NA group did not before should read the article. Those who think the actor overall was poorly received in the NA community at the time should read the article.

Also, what is with these first decades of the 21st century and people demanding everyone's genetic pedigree to meet a moral standard of purity as if it's the first decades of the 20th century? You don't have to accept people in any role they want today, but I don't see how relative moral outrage to acts in the past within past norms will help with improving anything absent a time machine.


Kelend t1_jad0ce0 wrote

>people demanding everyone's genetic pedigree to meet a
> standard of purity

This is well said, however... I'm not sure if its valid coming from someone of your race. Can we know what your race is so we can more judge your comment?

Thank you.


kompootor t1_jad5z61 wrote

Well, my mother was half Jewish, half English, and half Spanish...


retro604 t1_jadmfyn wrote

Who cares if he was Italian. He's an actor playing a role.

I really don't see how hiring a Native American to sit on a horse with warpaint and an outfit straight off the Warner Brothers lot would have been more authentic.

The whole thing is plastics industry propaganda anyway, same as the straw bullshit today. Blame the consumer not the producer.


hawkxp71 t1_jaaymgb wrote

I don't understand why senator Warren's distant cousin is causing such a fuss


SoloRich t1_jabrx1r wrote

Number one issue: The guy in the ad is a fraud. He is an Italian American actor. So no actual original Americans were used in the ad. HOWEVER it DID influence MANY to care more about their impact on the environment so it shouldn't be tossed out just cause the actor did a passable job playing a Native american charactpr...that is what ACTING is.


p314159i t1_jaa4yus wrote

The man was not a native and therefore couldn't have possible have belonged to any native american group. It should go to the italians.


Onardel t1_ja93b85 wrote

I always found this ad moving and it did impact me and how I view the land.

The purpose and success should supersede the feelings of those who found it offensive because of the actor.

Maybe we should retire Shakespear and turn back over all representations to the English?


Voyevoda67 t1_ja9k15f wrote

Don't know of a lot of Englishmen exploited by Shakespeare but then again I'm just a Native who has never been there. It's ok to both appreciate the interpretation of the message while also advocating against the exploitation of a people WHILE pointing out the plastic lobby used this as a deterrent for ideas about plastic fines and bans being passed around Washington by shifting the blame to the consumers to fix the toxic pollution they caused. More than one thing can be true at once.