The Internet is criticizing Crowe for casting Stone as a mixed-race character in his movie 'Aloha.'
"How could I not have noticed she's white?!" (Getty)
Cameron Crowe's new movie Aloha has brought him nothing but trouble. With terrible reviews and a dismal $10 million opening weekend, the movie would be an embarrassment even without a controversy over Emma Stone's role. Unfortunately, there's also a controversy over Emma Stone's role.
Stone plays a mixed-race character named Allison Ng, who is a quarter Chinese and a quarter Hawaiian. Given that Stone is one of the whitest people in Hollywood, a lot of diversity advocates were upset. Now, the director has broken his silence to apologize for his decision to cast her in the role, while also standing by her as an actress. He explained his reasons on his blog:
"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."
He went on to add:
"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.
I am grateful for the dialogue. And from the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring. So many of us are hungry for stories with more racial diversity, more truth in representation, and I am anxious to help tell those stories in the future."
The fact that the character's white appearance is a plot point makes Crowe's decision seem more reasonable, but he still should have seen the backlash coming. He's been making movies long enough to know better. Maybe he wanted to cast a star to make the movie a bigger draw, but if so, it obviously didn't work. If he had cast a mixed-race unknown, the movie would probably still be a flop, but at least no one would be angry at him about it. Except the studio.