Petitions are being circulated on the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations and in Rapid City to prevent anyone from making a movie about the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse.
Manson Garreaux, a Miniconjou descendant of Ta’sunke Wit’ko (Crazy Horse) residing in Eagle Butte, drafted the petition. He said the recent filming of a movie about Crazy Horse for Turner Network Television upset him and other descendants.
“As one of the descendants, I thought it was wrong to make a story about (Crazy Horse) because, in reality, he never did have a photo made of him,” Garreaux said.
He said the TNT movie has “the same old Hollywood stereotyping” and that it will provide children with an inaccurate view of history.
Individuals signing the petitions are saying the entertainment industry as a whole should be barred from depicting the life of Crazy Horse.
“We … affix our signatures to this petition, expressing our indignation and that we are adamantly opposed to any and/or all entertainment companies’ attempted portrayal of our ancestor Ta’sunke Wit’ko (Crazy Horse) for monetary gain,” the petition says.
Garreaux believes the U.S. Commerce and Trade Lanham Act can be used by descendants in a court of law to protect the privacy rights of their ancestor. He said precedence has been set with a Rosebud Tribal Court ruling reaffirming the right to privacy in the Crazy Horse malt liquor issue.
“The petitions will be turned over to an attorney, and there’s a pretty good chance they will go into federal court,” Garreaux said. “We will not ask for any monetary damages. We’ll just ask that the film itself be trashed.”
Garreaux says he expects to collect petitions with the signatures of about 400 people on the Cheyenne River Reservation alone.
“The numbers don’t really matter,” he said. “We just want to get a good cross section of the Lakota tiospaye (family).”
xxxx ‘CRAZY HORSE,’ THE MOVIE “Crazy Horse” is the fifth film in a series about historic American Indian leaders made by TNT. Filming was completed last week near Hot Springs, S.D.