‘Aloha’ director apologizes for casting Emma Stone as Asian-American

CNN:

Writer-director Cameron Crowe is having a tough week. His critically savaged movie, “Aloha,” performed poorly in its first weekend in theaters, collecting just $10.5 million despite a shiny pedigree and a star-studded cast. And now he’s apologizing for what critics are calling the culturally insensitive casting of actress Emma Stone as a part-Asian character.

“Thank you so much for all the impassioned comments regarding the casting of the wonderful Emma Stone in the part of Allison Ng,” Crowe wrote in a post on his personal blog. “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.”

The Allison Ng character in the film is a young Air Force pilot in Hawaii with a father who is half Chinese. Ng is proud to be one-quarter Hawaiian, a fact she repeats to almost everyone she encounters.

But Stone, who grew up in Arizona, apparently has no Chinese or Pacific Islander ancestry. Native Hawaiians, Asian activists and bloggers have criticized the movie — set entirely in Hawaii — for its overwhelmingly white cast, with many singling out Stone’s casting as being especially egregious.

It’s so typical for Asian or Pacific Islanders to be rendered invisible in stories that we’re supposed to be in, in places that we live,” said Guy Aoki of the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans in an interview with the Huffington Post. “We’re 60% of the population (in Hawaii). We’d like them to reflect reality.”

Crowe, whose films include “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous,” said the casting of Stone was not meant to be disrespectful.

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,” he wrote.

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.”

Aloha” is a romantic comedy-drama about a military contractor (Bradley Cooper) who returns to Hawaii to help negotiate the launch of a satellite. While there he reconnects with an old flame (Rachel McAdams) while falling for the young pilot (Stone) assigned to escort him around.

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ABC commits to changes after Jimmy Kimmel Live controversy

 

AsAmNews:

A coalition of community groups recently met with executives from ABC to discuss the recent “kill everyone in China” segment on Jimmy Kimmel.

According to a letter sent out by the Organization of Chinese Americans to its membership, the network committed to a number of changes.

Some of them had previously been announced.

They included:

  • The formation of a community-network advisory group to develop national programming during APA Heritage Month in May.
  • Regular meetings with Executive Producers to develop more roles for Asian Pacific American actors
  • Cultural sensitivity training for network staff
  • A commitment to not air any more segments using the Kids Table Format which the “kill everyone in China” segment aired under
  • Removal of Kids Table segment from Jimmy Kimmel Live, their website and social media
  • Acknowledgement that such language can lead to hate crimes
  • An apology to the community

Among those groups attending the meeting were Media Action Network for Asian Americans, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Japanese American Citizens League, National Council of Chinese Americans, East West Players and the Organization of Chinese Americans.

We are pleased and optimistic about the outcomes of our meeting with ABC. They committed to addressing the damage done by the ‘kill everyone in China’ statement. And they have also taken proactive measures to prevent another incident,” OCA said in its letter signed by Executive Director Tom Hayashi and OCA President Sharon Wong.

Check out this link:

ABC commits to changes after Jimmy Kimmel Live controversy