Critics agree: Aloha is the worst film Cameron Crowe has ever made (reminder: Cameron Crowe made We Bought a Zoo). Sony Pictures exec Amy Pascal infamously wrote in a leaked email that “It never … Not even once … ever works.” But the least workable thing, according to Cameron Crowe, is that you got mad when he cast the translucently white Emma Stone as a woman who’s a quarter Asian. Cameron Crowe is sorry you were offended.
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. 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.
See? You had it all wrong. Cameron Crowe wrote a character who he felt could be played by a white actress, and then cast a white actress. He made this plan years ago, so it was definitely a pretty good plan. Cameron Crowe is so sorry you misunderstood, and he’s glad to be able to clear this up.
Later in the open letter, he points out that Emma Stone did “tireless research” to play Allison Ng, so it’s totally not her fault if you didn’t understand what she was going for.
Plus, Crowe writes, he was “able to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months,” so he and Hawaiian culture are basically even now.
“So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity,” he concludes, “more truth in representation, and I am anxious to help tell those stories in the future.”
Not that Cameron Crowe is saying Aloha’s representation lacked truth or anything. In Cameron Crowe’s opinion, Aloha was pretty good. It’s a shame you didn’t get it, but maybe you will buy a ticket now that you know he really met a red-headed Hawaiian, you guys. It only made $10 million on opening weekend, so it would actually be really great if you could do that. Cameron Crowe thanks you in advance and asks you to remember that he made Say Anything.
[Photo of Emily Jean “Allison Ng” Stone via Sony Pictures]