Crowe apologizes for casting Emma Stone in part-Asian, part-Hawaiian role

This photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows, Bradley Cooper, left, and Emma Stone, in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Aloha." (Neal Preston/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)
This photo provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment shows, Bradley Cooper, left, and Emma Stone, in a scene from Columbia Pictures' "Aloha." (Neal Preston/Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Cameron Crowe has apologized for offending anyone over his casting of Emma Stone in a partially Asian, partially Hawaiian role in his film “Aloha.”

Stone’s character, Captain Allison Ng, is a quarter Hawaiian, and she has a half-Chinese father. In a message posted on his website, TheUncool.com, Crowe says the character was always intended to be someone frustrated that she lacked outward signs of her ethnicity.

“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.”

“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,” wrote Crowe.

Some criticized Stone’s casting as another example of Hollywood whitewashing Asian-American movie roles. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans called the film “an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii.” Some Native Hawaiians have disapproved of the film’s title as a misappropriation of Hawaiian culture.

Crowe, however, disputed the notion that “Aloha,” which stars Bradley Cooper as a military contractor returning to Hawaii, merely used the state as an exotic backdrop.

“We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months,” Crowe said. “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.”

“Aloha” has been pilloried by critics and last weekend debuted weakly at the box office with $9.7 million for Sony Pictures. The film last year also came up in emails revealed in the Sony hacking that depicted then-chairwoman Amy Pascal regretting the movie.

It has been a humbling release for Crowe, the writer-director of “Jerry Maguire,” ”Almost Famous” and “Say Anything…” Crowe said that from the Sony emails to its release, “Aloha” has “felt like a misunderstood movie.” But he concluded saying he is “grateful for the dialogue.”

“From the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring,” wrote Crowe. “So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity, more truth in representation, and I am anxious to help tell those stories in the future.”

___

Online:

http://www.theuncool.com/2015/06/02/a-comment-on-allison-ng/

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