Cameron Crowe Apologizes For Casting Emma Stone As Mixed-Race Asian Woman
Is Hollywood starting to recognize how egregious its whitewashing casting choices are? Cameron Crowe’s return to directing, “Aloha,” was not only a box office disappointment over its opening weekend, but enfuriated tons of fans who didn’t understand why a movie set in Hawaii featured virtually NO Pacific Islanders, but the only partially Asian character in the film was cast as a fully-white woman. Via CNN:
Writer-director Cameron Crowe is having a tough week.
His critically savaged movie, “Aloha,” performed poorly in its first weekend in theaters, collecting just $10.5 million despite a shiny pedigree and a star-studded cast. And now he’s apologizing for what critics are calling the culturally insensitive casting of actress Emma Stone as a part-Asian character.
“Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng,” Crowe wrote in a post on his personal blog. “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.”
The Allison Ng character in the film is a young Air Force pilot in Hawaii with a father who is half Chinese. Ng is proud to be one-quarter Hawaiian, a fact she repeats to almost everyone she encounters. But Stone, who grew up in Arizona, apparently has no Chinese or Pacific Islander ancestry. Native Hawaiians, Asian activists and bloggers have criticized the movie — set entirely in Hawaii — for its overwhelmingly white cast, with many singling out Stone’s casting as being especially egregious.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”
It doesn’t fix Hollywood’s frequent refusal to acknowledge races and cultures other than Caucasian…but it’s a step in the right direction, right? Now if only Ridley Scott could do the same for his all-white movie of African Gods and Kings…