Director of ‘Aloha’ says sorry about film’s casting
NEW YORK - 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.
“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.’’