Cameron Crowe Apologized for Casting Emma Stone in Aloha

By on June 4, 2015


Cameron Crowe took to his personal website The Uncool to apologize to the world for casting Emma Stone in his latest picture Aloha. Was it her diva ways? Fights with the rest of the cast? Showing up late to work? Was Emma Stone mimicking her fellow redhead actress, Lindsay Lohan? No. She drew criticism for being too white in a film some complain was whitewashed.

Crowe brought the critically acclaimed Almost Famous and beloved Jerry Maguire to life while making stars of Kate Hudson, Renee Zellweger, and Cuba Gooding Jr. but he is being panned for what many are calling his whitewashed portrayal of the Hawaiian Islands. Not only is there an all white cast, but Stone’s character, Allison Ng, is one quarter Hawaiian with a half Chinese father. Stone, while a great actress, is fair with red hair.

Responding to the criticism Crowe apologized on his website saying that from the beginning, “‘Aloha’ has felt like a misunderstood movie,” adding that people knew, “very little.” Describing the actors as “passionate” Crowe said they, “wanted to join me in making a film about Hawaii, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and round the island of Oahu.”

He went on to explain that Stone’s character was based on a red-headed local who, like Stone’s character, “frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one,” meaning woman with Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry, and explained further that because of her pride in, “her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets.”

Saying, “I have heard  your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology,” he still says he is proud of his picture which employed locals for four months. Crowe was, “grateful for the dialogue,” calling what he learned “inspiring.” What did he learn? “So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity, more truth in representation,” before declaring he is “anxious to help tell those stories in the future.”

His explanation for Stone’s character sounds as if there should be  no apology but then why is Stone’s character getting the most heat? What about the characters played by Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, or Danny McBride? Could any of them have been played by characters with Hawaiian ancestry? And what about Cameron Crowe saying he learned that people are hungry for stories with more diversity? Where has he been for the past several  years as a debate has raged across the country about a lack of diversity? Where was he for the Sony scandal that led to the dumping of studio head Amy Pascal?

What do you think about the Aloha controversy? Was this movie whitewashed or was it true to the story? Let us know what you think here at Haveuheard.



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