It hasn’t been the easiest ride for Cameron Crowe with “Aloha.” The Sony leaks revealed that internally, the studio had misgivings about the movie, and in the run up to the film’s release, the picture faced backlash from some about a major studio movie appropriating the word “aloha,” a term loaded with cultural significance for Hawaiians. And then, there was even more blowback in casting Emma Stone as Allison Ng, a 1/4 Hawaiian native who is described by EW as “a Hula dancing expert with a functional knowledge of Hawaiian folk guitar who rhapsodizes about the islander spiritual energy mana.”
Sony responded by issuing a statement defending Crowe and the film, saying: “While some have been quick to judge a movie they haven’t seen and a script they haven’t read, the film ‘Aloha’ respectfully showcases the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe spent years researching this project and many months on location in Hawaii, cultivating relationships with leading local voices. He earned the trust of many Hawaiian community leaders, including Dennis ‘Bumpy’ Kanahele, who plays a key role in the film.” However, Crowe has now come around and apologized to any he might have offended.
Writing on his site The Uncool, the director explains the rationale behind the character and the casting of Stone, but offers his understanding if any were offended: