Emma Stone on 'Aloha' Whitewashing: "My Eyes Have Been Opened in Many Ways"
"There’s a lot of conversation about how we want to see people represented on screen and what we need to change as a business to reflect culture in a clearer way and not in an idealized way. There are some flaws in the system."
Emma Stone has emerged from the Aloha whitewashing controversy, and she says she's better off for having gone through it.
In the critically-panned Cameron Crowe release earlier this year, the actress played the role of Air Force pilot Allison Ng, who is described in the film as a quarter Asian and a quarter Hawaiian, opposite Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams. The romantic dramedy was widely criticized for the casting choice of Stone, as well as for its whitewashed onscreen depiction of Hawaiian culture at large.
"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," Stone told an Australian news outlet. Though she defended Crowe in noting that "the character was not supposed to look like her background," she admitted, "I've become the butt of many jokes."
"There’s a lot of conversation about how we want to see people represented on screen and what we need to change as a business to reflect culture in a clearer way and not in an idealized way. There are some flaws in the system," she continued, also acknowledging that her film projects often pair her onscreen with much older men. My eyes have been opened in many ways this year."
Crowe has previously apologized for the casting misstep, writing in an essay on his website, "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."