Marilyn Manson’s New Film Character is NOT A Native Hitman, Say Filmmakers

By Sameer Rao Aug 19, 2015

Shock rocker and 90s icon Marilyn Manson is back at the center of media controversy, but not for the reasons you might think. The musician and actor has come under fire for his alleged portrayal of a Native character in the upcoming film "Let Me Make You A Martyr," an allegation that was refuted by the film’s co-directors in statements on Monday.

In the film, a stark upcoming crime drama which pairs Manson with his former "Sons of Anarchy" costar Mark Boone Junior, Manson portrays a hitman who was described in a Rolling Stone piece as Native American. Manson further described to Rolling Stone that he is "part Indian," of "Sioux" heritage, without going into much depth; later on, Manson’s Wikipedia page was edited to describe this heritage, with the Rolling Stone piece as its only citation.

The vaugueness about his identification prompted outcry from many Native social media users, particularly given that there are other Native actors that never get to portray Native characters. In the wake of that, the film’s co-writer and co-director John Swab (who claims some Creek heritage) confirmed that Manson’s character is actually not Native, also explaining the original character’s ethnicity.

“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.”

This apparently referred to early drafts of the script, from which Manson was making claims. Apparently, the filmmakers (including fellow co-writer and -director Corey Asraf) dropped the Native identity after actors like Wes Studi and Gary Farmer had to pull out of the role. 

The film is set to premiere next year. 

(H/t Indian Country Media Today Network