Tags: cameron crowe | aloha | film | ire

Cameron Crowe's 'Aloha' Film Draws Ire of Islanders Over Casting, Title

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 05:03 PM

"Aloha" director Cameron Crowe is drawing the ire of Asian-Americans who say he whitewashed Asian-Pacific Islanders out of his new film.

The Media Action Network for Asian Americans said almost all of the primary roles in the film, set in Hawaii, are played by white actors.

Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams star in the romantic comedy, which opens Friday and also features actors Bill Murray, Emma Stone, Alec Baldwin, Danny McBride, and John Krasinski.

“Caucasians only make up 30 percent of the population [of Hawaii], but from watching this film, you’d think they made up 99 percent,” Guy Aoki of MANAA said, according to the New York Post. “This comes in a long line of films — ‘The Descendants,’ ‘50 First Dates,’ ‘Blue Crush,’ ‘Pearl Harbor’ — that uses Hawaii for its exotic backdrop but goes out of its way to exclude the very people who live there. It’s an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii.”

Others complained about the use of the word “aloha,” saying its use in the title of the film is disrespectful of the culture.

"If you have a romantic comedy about the military in Hawaii ... but a title that says 'Aloha,' I can only guess that they'll bastardize the word," Native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte told The Associated Press. "They're taking our sacred word ... and they're going to make a lot of money off of it."

Meanings of the word, which is used as a greeting, include compassion, grace, and mercy.

Ty Kawika Tengan, chair of the ethnic studies department at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus, told the AP that the word has "been so appropriated in so many different ways — made into a commodity, made into a slogan. It gets so divorced from important indigenous Hawaiian context. ... It's romanticized, literally, into a romantic comedy."

State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson told the AP that if she had known the title of the film, which was unnamed when filming began in 2013, she would have advised against it.

Other native Hawaiians have expressed support for the film.

"If you look at what aloha means, how can it be bad no matter how it's used?" TV and radio personality Kimo Kahoano told the AP. "I think Hawaii is the best place in the world. And the reason is aloha."

Twitter users were disappointed in the movie.

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"Aloha" director Cameron Crowe is drawing the ire of Asian-Americans who say he whitewashed Asian-Pacific Islanders out of his new film.
cameron crowe, aloha, film, ire
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 05:03 PM
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