Aloha has not had an easy time existing as a film. It first made news when emails leaked from the Sony Hack, which saw then Sony President Amy Pascal calling the film a big mess and a failure. And then, when it opened last week at #6 pulling in just $9.6 million, critics hit it hard, calling it a confusing head-scratcher of a movie. But most of all, people called out the drama for casting Emma Stone as Allison Ng, a character that is a quarter Asian and another quarter Native Hawaiian, with the character's 'white' appearance meant to be a point of frustration for Ng. This morning, director Cameron Crowe has issued an apology for casting Emma Stone as an Asain, and then goes onto explain the decision. He calls the whole movie 'misunderstood'. Courtesy of Cameron Crowe's own website The Uncool, here is his statement:
From the very beginning of its appearance in the Sony Hack, Aloha has felt like a misunderstood movie. One that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact they knew very little. 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. Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng. 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. Whether that story point felt hurtful or humorous has been, of course, the topic of much discussion. However I am so proud that in the same movie, we employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, both before and behind the camera... including Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, and his village, and many other locals who worked closely in our crew and with our script to help ensure authenticity. We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months. 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. I am grateful for the dialogue. And from the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring. 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. Thanks again. Cameron Crowe.
What do you think about Cameron Crowe's apology? Does the controversy make you curious to see the movie? Or is this, as some people are calling it, truly the Gigli of summer 2015?