America is known for being a melting pot. Since we were founded, we’ve been a refuge for those in search of a home. We have no official language, due in part to this reputation, and we continute today to grow in our diversity in ethnic background. However, this is not reflected in our films and those who fill the roles of characters that happen to be mixed. So we ask the question: Is Hollywood still whitewashing roles today?
It is an issue not particularly given much focus to, but an issue nonetheless.
Aloha, a film that is meant to show and represent the rich heritage of the Polynesian islands, casted quite possibly the furthest person away from an Asian heritage: Emma Stone.
The movie was released on May 29th and the story revolves aroud Bradley Cooper’s character Brian Gilcrest, a military contractor. He falls in love with Stone’s character, Allison Ng, through his tour of Hawaii as her as his guide. It’s cute, with a sad undertone.
It flopped its opening weekend, opening at only 10 million dollars — perhaps due to the crushing waves of bad reviews and boycotts by Asian Americans once they found out about the casting.
The director Cameron Crowe apologized back in June for an offense he caused when casting Stone. However, now Stone has recently spoken up about the role when being interviewed by news.com.au,
“I’ve learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It’s ignited a conversation that’s very important.”
Supposedly the character was not meant to resemble her quarter chines and quarter Hawaiian heritage, but more so her swedish; hence Stone’s casting.
What do you think about Emma as Allison Ng? Is it relevant or are people being too sensitive. Let us know in the comments below!
Photos Courtesy of Sony Pictures