The film has been savaged by critics, as well as coming under fire for its lack of racial diversity.
Director Cameron Crowe has responded to the backlash over the casting of Emma Stone as a part-Asian character in his latest film Aloha. The film and the director received substantial criticism online when it was found that Stone’s character, Captain Allison Ng, was a quarter Hawaiian and a quarter Chinese, leading the director to apologise for casting the actress.
Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone star in Cameron Crowe’s Aloha
Writing on his website The Uncool on Tuesday, Crowe offered a lengthly apology in a blog post titled ‘A Comment on Allison Ng’. “Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng,” the director wrote. “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.”
Crowe also added that he was ‘so proud’ that during the movie they employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. The director was also careful to point out that Stone herself had done ‘tireless research’ before filming adding that ‘if any part of her fine characterisation has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame’
The director said he believed Aloha was a ‘misunderstood movie’ even before its release, thanks to its appearance in the Sony Hack last year. ‘One that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact they knew very little’, Crowe wrote. ‘It was a small movie, made by passionate actors who wanted to join me in making a film about Hawaii, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and around the island of Oahu.’
The 57 year old ended by saying he was ‘grateful for the dialogue’ and that he was anxious to help tell more racially diverse stories in the future. Aloha hit theatres last weekend and failed to make any impact on the box office, thanks in part to negative publicity and dismal reviews. The film so far holds an 18% rotten rating on review website Rotten Tomatoes.
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