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Cameron Crowe offers Aloha apology for casting Emma Stone as Asian-American

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Neal Preston

Cameron Crowe has apologized to those who felt casting Emma Stone as Asian-American in Aloha was an “odd or misguided” decision.

Stone plays a character named Allison Ng in Crowe’s recent flop, an Air Force pilot whose father is half-Chinese and half-Hawaiian. In the lead-up to the release of Aloha last Friday, many criticized the film for having a white actress play the role. Writing on his blog, The Uncool, Crowe acknowledged the complaints, and took full responsibility for the choice. (According to the director, Stone’s character was based on a real-life Hawaiian woman, who often felt compelled to “over-explain” her mixed heritage.)

“We were extremely proud to present the island, the locals and the film community with many jobs for over four months,” Crowe wrote after noting how many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders worked on Aloha. “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 said issues with the perception of Aloha have existed since the Sony hack last year, when it was revealed in leaked emails that then-studio co-chair Amy Pascal had dismissed the film (“It never, not even once, ever works”). Controversy surrounding Aloha reached a critical mass, however, after the Media Action Network for Asian Americans slammed Crowe’s movie for white-washing the Hawaiian islands.

“I am grateful for the dialogue. And from the many voices, loud and small, I have learned something very inspiring,” Crowe wrote at the conclusion of his piece on Tuesday. “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.”

Read Crowe’s full essay over at The Uncool.