As we’re sure you figured out in the first grade, aloha means hello and goodbye in Hawaiian. Regarding director Cameron Crowe’s new film, Aloha, viewers and critics alike decided to wave goodbye to the film. The reason? Crowe cast Emma Stone, a white actor, to portray Allison Ng, a character who is one-quarter Hawaiian. People who saw the movie were outraged. In an era where we’re becoming increasingly aware of the need for diversity in the media, it doesn’t make sense to cast a white performer in a role that could have gone to an actor who is actually of Hawaiian descent.
Crowe, known for directing films such as Say Anything and Almost Famous, attempted to justify his casting choice. He claimed he based the character on a red-haired woman he knew in real life who felt she always had to “over-explain” her background. Crowe also stated that he is “the one to blame” for any and all offense. But whitewashing in film and television is an issue that more and more people are becoming aware of, and Aloha just became another example of a movie that could and perhaps should have been handled much differently.
The film is open in theaters all around the United States.