Depp is primarily of English descent, with some French, German, Irish, and African ancestry. His surname comes from a French Huguenot immigrant (Pierre Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700). He is also descended from colonial freedom fighter Elizabeth Key Grinstead (1630–1665), daughter of an English planter and his African slave. In interviews in 2002 and 2011, Depp claimed to have Native American ancestry, stating, "I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek Indian. " Depp's claims came under scrutiny when Indian Country Today stated that Depp had never inquired about his heritage nor was he recognized as a member of the Cherokee Nation. This led to criticism from the Native American community, as Depp has no documented Native ancestry, and Native community leaders refer to him as "a non-Indian". Depp's choice to portray Tonto, a Native American character, in The Lone Ranger was criticized, along with his choice to name his rock band "Tonto's Giant Nuts". During the promotion for The Lone Ranger, Depp was adopted as an honorary son by LaDonna Harris, a member of the Comanche Nation, making him an honorary member of her family but not a member of any tribe. Critical response to his claims from the Native community increased after this, including satirical portrayals of Depp by Native comedians. An ad featuring Depp and Native American imagery, by Dior for the fragrance "Sauvage", was pulled in 2019 after being accused of cultural appropriation and racism.
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