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Cameron Crowe Apologizes for Whitewashing in His Latest Movie

Surprise! The Hollywood director actually took (partial) responsibility for hiring a white woman to play Asian in Aloha.

Not Asian. (Image via Wikimedia)

Emma Stone is not Asian. So it came as a total surprise to some, and a total embarrassment to many, that Cameron Crowe decided to hire the actress to play the role of Allison Ng, a half-Asian fighter pilot, for his latest feature-flop, Aloha. Crowe’s been torn apart by critics and Facebook-updaters alike, and just yesterday, issued this apology:


“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 … We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months. Emma Stone was chief among those who did tireless research, and if any part of her fine characterization has caused consternation and controversy, I am the one to blame.”

Crowe later goes on to argue that he wants to help tell stories that feature “more racial diversity” and “truth in representation” (You can read the full text of Crowe’s apology here). But critics and viewers have argued that the director’s whitewashing went beyond a simple casting choice. The Media Network for Asian Americans argued that: “60 percent of Hawaii's population is [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders] … Caucasians only make up 30 percent of the population but from watching this film, you'd think they made up 99 percent."

Still, it’s great to see a director grow up, take responsibility, and apologize for some of the mistakes he’s made (cough, cough, Christian Bale, Ridley Scott, history of Hollywood?).