Following criticism by an Asian-American advocacy group and others, writer-director Cameron Crowe has apologized for casting Caucasian actress Emma Stone as a character with Asian heritage in his critically lambasted romantic comedy "Aloha."
"Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng," Crowe, 57, wrote on his blog. "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."
The writer-director of films including "Say Anything" (1989), "Jerry Maguire" (1996) and "Almost Famous" (2000) explained that, "As far back as 2007, [Air Force] Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud 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."
On May 28, Media Action Network for Asian Americans, an advocacy group monitoring media depictions, said it was "calling out Sony Pictures for its white-washed [sic] film 'Aloha.' . . . " The group's president, Guy Aoki, said in a statement, "Caucasians only make up 30 percent of the population, but from watching this film, you'd think they made up 90 percent. This comes in a long line of films . . . that uses Hawaii for its exotic backdrop but goes out of its way to exclude the very people who live there."
Stone, 28, has not commented publicly. In the film, her character is described as being of mixed race, with a half-Chinese, half-Hawaiian father and a white mother.