Cameron Crowe: Sorry that my make-believe required you to make believe Emma Stone was a quarter Asian
To cleanse the palate, I like what commenter Flange said: “You’re doing something wrong if you’re apologizing for putting Emma Stone in a movie.”
This so-called apology isn’t him saying “sorry that I offended you” so much as “sorry you’re so stupid.”
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 heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice. 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…
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 point of the character, Crowe’s saying in his own appeasing way, is that she’s not supposed to look Asian. She’s a symbol of Hawaii’s split personality as the 50th state in a majority-white nation and a far-flung Pacific outpost influenced by Japanese and Polynesian cultures. Casting a blonde, blue-eyed known commodity like Stone sounds like a sly goof on how most Americans supposedly view post-statehood Hawaii — beautiful and idealized, but comfortably white and familiar more so than “foreign” — as well as a goof on Hawaiians’ anxiety over losing their Asian “authenticity.” The joke wouldn’t work as well with an actress whose Asian lineage was physically apparent. You’re supposed to be surprised that “Allison Ng” looks like lily white Emma Stone. That’s what Crowe’s trying to say here, but he also knows he can’t get too far on the wrong side of the left’s diversity bean-counters or it’ll mean headaches for ages. So he tacked on the bit at the end above about telling more diverse stories going forward, as he gets ready to make his next movie with Tom Cruise or Matt Damon or whoever.
What happened to this guy, anyway? His first four feature films: “Say Anything,” “Singles,” “Jerry Maguire,” and “Almost Famous.” His last four: “Vanilla Sky,” “Elizabethtown,” “We Bought a Zoo,” and now this stinker, which is cruising along with an 18 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes as I write this. He should thank God every night that M. Night Shyamalan’s around to take the brunt of the Internet’s rage against promising filmmaking talents who went south.