Director Cameron Crowe apologized on Tuesday for a major controversy surrounding the cast of his most recent film, Aloha.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) June 3, 2015
“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.”
Within the same post, Cameron Crowe further explained Allison Ng’s character backstory — including the fact that she was not supposed to look anything like a person with Hawaiian heritage.
“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.”
It is apparently clear that the actress chosen to play Allison Ng was not Asian-American, a Pacific Islander, or even a native Hawaiian.
However, Cameron Crowe mentioned that a lot of the other people hired to act in the movie and work behind the scenes did have those backgrounds and nationalities in order to ensure authenticity throughout the making of the film.
Even before Aloha was released in theaters, the film was the subject of controversial discussions and negative backlash from moviegoers, fans and critics for numerous reasons — including racial diversity issues and the casting of Emma Stone.
— Jooyoung Lee (@theyoungjoo) June 3, 2015
Cameron Crowe apparently found the silver lining to the dark cloud of negative backlash — a bright side which he explained in the conclusion of his blog.
“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.”
Aloha only made $10.5 million during its opening weekend in the United States — nearly 30 percent of its estimated $37 million budget.
Cameron Crowe has been known for writing and directing numerous box-office hits that have been critically-acclaimed over the years — including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous.
[Image Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images]