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Cameron Crowe Apologizes For Casting Emma Stone As Allison Ng In ‘Aloha’

Cameron Crowe Apologizes For Casting Emma Stone As Allison Ng In 'Aloha'

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.

READ MORE: Review: Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha,’ Starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone & Rachel McAdams

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: 

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.
Crowe also says that while he feels that “Aloha” is something of a “misunderstood movie” he is “grateful for the dialogue” and hopes to tell “stories with more racial diversity [and] more truth in representation” in the future. Read his full statement here.

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