Cameron Crowe is feeling misunderstood. The "Aloha" director even called his movie "misunderstood" right in the first sentence of his new blog post, which references the Sony hack that initially dissed the movie and goes on to acknowledge whitewashing criticism. The June 2 post is titled "A Comment on Allison Ng," focusing on the casting of Emma Stone as Allison Ng, described as quarter Asian and quarter Hawaiian.
Here's part of the post, which includes an apology from Crowe to anyone who was offended:
Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng. I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice. As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud ¼ Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one. A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaii. Extremely proud of her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets. The character was based on a real-life, red-headed local who did just that."
He later added, "We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months. Emma Stone was chief among those who did tireless research, and if any part of her fine characterization has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame."
Anytime there's backlash, there's always an eye-rolling backlash to the backlash, but the initial disappointment that many Hawaiians shared was that the movie chose to focus mainly on white characters when ostensibly celebrating a location populated largely by non-Caucasians. There are so few Asian characters in major roles on TV and in movies, it just felt like a slap in the face to some viewers to give a partial Chinese role to Emma Stone. But with this post, Crowe at least got to explain his intentions and defend one of his lead actresses, who perhaps unexpectedly ended up in the middle of a larger race debate.
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