Oscar-winning writer and director Cameron Crowe addressed criticism surrounding his decision to cast Emma Stone to play the mixed Asian character of Allison Ng in the film Aloha Tuesday.
Crowe, (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) penned an essay on his personal website, and apologized for casting Stone, and acknowledged calls for more racially diverse characters in film.
Crowe also pledged to do his part moving forward.
“From the very beginning of its appearance in the Sony Hack, “Aloha” has felt like a misunderstood movie. One that people felt they knew a lot about, but in fact they knew very little,” Crowe wrote about the film, which has been panned by critics.
Starring Bradley Cooper as celebrated military contractor Brian Gilcrest, who returns to Hawaii to re-connect with an old lover, he unexpectedly falls for Air Force Captain Allison Ng, who is described in the film as being ¼ Hawaiian and ¼ Chinese.
“It was a small movie, made by passionate actors who wanted to join me in making a film about Hawaii, and the lives of these characters who live and work in and around the island of Oahu,” Crowe wrote.
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 heartfelt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice.
Crowe then wrote he based the character of Allison on a real-life, redheaded Hawaiian native who constantly felt compelled to explain her own proud heritage.
The former Rolling Stone teen journalist, for which the lead character in the film Almost Famous was based, also cleared Stone of any blame and recognized her for her “tireless research” before adding, “I am the one to blame.”
“Whether that story point felt hurtful or humorous has been, of course, the topic of much discussion,” Crowe stated. “However I am so proud that in the same movie, we employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, both before and behind the camera…
“I am grateful for the dialogue,” the director finished. “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.”
Aloha is now playing in theaters nationwide.