Emma Stone is only now addressing the criticism she received after taking a role in the Cameron Crowe film Aloha.
While director Cameron Crowe received the brunt of the criticism, Emma Stone was at the center of it because of the character she portrayed in the film. Stone, obviously white, played an Air Force liaison named Allison Ng. The character was part Chinese and part native Hawaiian. Many felt that this was a slam against Asian actresses that could have played the role, and a gross lack of diversity in a film that primarily depicted Hawaiian locals.
In an interview with News.au.com, Stone broke her silence about the controversial role, saying, “I’ve become the butt of many jokes. I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important.”
Stone also brought up another problem in Hollywood that has been discussed for some time now; younger actresses being paired up with leading men twice their age, while older women who are more “age appropriate” are rejected as co-stars.
“It’s rampant in Hollywood and it’s definitely been that way for a long time, both culturally and in movies. There’s a lot of conversation about how we want to see people represented on screen and what we need to change as a business to reflect culture in a clearer way and not in an idealized way. There are some flaws in the system…My eyes have been opened in many ways this year.”
As for Aloha, it turns out that it had absolutely no saving grace because it was universally panned by critics. It was expected that this film wouldn’t perform well at the box office due to Sony execs bashing the faulty script via leaked e-mails.
Crowe eventually apologized for the whitewashing in Aloha, writing, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
The film also starred Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams.
[Photo Via Columbia Pictures]