We don’t know what ‘s worse.
That Cameron Crowe’s newest romantic fare Aloha casts Hawaii (which has the highest racial minority population of any state in US) is majority white.
Or that it features, as Jen Yamato of The Daily Beast says, “one of the more prominent Asian/mixed heritage female leads in any studio movie in recent memory,” quarter-Hawaiian and quarter-Chinese Allison Ng….a role that is played by Emma Stone.
Crowe’s film appropriates and whitewashes Hawaiian culture, but under the guise of supposed diversity.
It’s kind of like how the vast majority of alien invasion films made in the US are set in New York, with primarily white leads
IF said alien invasion film was actually set in Mexico, with white leads, and Latino actors playing bit parts in order to provide “ethnic scenery.”
But finally, in the wake of this controversy, Cameron Crowe has offered an apology….or fauxpology.
On June 2nd, he took to his official blog to offer the following:
“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."
It may seem petty to focus on the wording of “apology to those who felt” the casting choice was misguided, as if their argument was based upon emotions rather than logic and evidence, but that’s not the only place where Crowe’s apology goes…awry.
He begins the post by bemoaning the fact that Aloha has been a movie “misunderstood” by those “who felt they knew a lot about, but in fact [knew] very little” about it, which appears to be a veiled, passive-aggressive retort to the very same people to whom he’s offering his apology.
He defended his choice, explaining that Ng’s character was based on a “real-life, red-headed local” who was frustrated “that she looked nothing like one” but was still “extremely proud of her unlikely heritage.” He also pointed out that he did employ several Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders in the making of the film. That that is something, it doesn’t solve the problem of representation.
Cameron did end the post by saying he was “anxious to help tell [stories]" with more racial diversity, more representation in truth, in the future. Let’s hope that this intention leads to real results.