“You would have thought that it would be difficult for a Cameron Crowe film to offend anyone. The man makes crowd-pleasing films. However, Asian-Pacific Islanders from Hawaii are incensed with the rom-com master, accusing Crowe of whitewashing their ethnic community while casting for Aloha, which is set in Hawaii.
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) have released a press release, which comes courtesy of the New York Post, that lambasts Aloha for its perceived lack of diversity when it comes to casting key roles. Guy Aoki, who used to reside in Hawaii and is still a member of the MANAA, explained:
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 went even further by comparing Aloha to a number of Hawaii-based films that also have predominantly Caucasian ensembles. These included Adam Sandler’s 50 First Dates, the surfer flick Blue Crush, and what’s roundly acknowledged to be the worst Michael Bay film (and we all know that includes a vast list), Pearl Harbor.
But don’t just think that it’s only woeful films that have disproportionate ethnic casts, because the Oscar-winning The Descendants was also cited by MANAA as a prime example of a film that used Hawaii simply for its exotic backdrop and then excluded the native population when it came time to cast supporting roles. Aoki insists that this type of casting is “an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii,” and is bringing up the issue tied to Aloha to help prove his point…”