The Cameron Crowe-directed film ‘Aloha,’ set in Hawaii on Oahu, just seems to keep stirring the pot. Crowe has defended himself on a series of issues, and the film was the subject of one of the leaked emails in the Sony hack where SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal weighed in on production cost overruns and had scathing words for the movie.
Now comes Guy Aoki, head and founder of MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian-Americans) where in a press release to the New York Post, he accused Columbia Pictures of a “whitewashed” version of Hawaii. “Caucasians only make up 30% of the population (of Hawaii), but from watching this film, you’d think they made up 99%,” he said. “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,” Aoki said.
“Aloha” stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray in the story of a military contractor (Cooper) who moves to Hawaii for work and falls for an energetic Air Force member (Stone).
According to Aoki, the largest roles for Islanders in “Aloha” are characters without names, some of whom are described as “Indian pedestrian,” “Upscale Japanese tourist,” and “upscale restaurant guest.” Aoki asks, “How can you educate your audience to the ‘rich history’ of Hawaii by using mostly white people and excluding the majority of the people who live there and who helped build that history?”
Wonder if he’s ever seen a little television show called “Magnum, P.I”?
A Hollywood Reporter article of 5/23/15 by Ryan Gajewski quotes a source from the movie as saying that no member of MANAA has yet to see the film or read the script and that the films storyline centers on “the spirit of the Hawaiian people.”
What do you think of the movies Aoki called out that were filmed in Hawaii? In letters to me, many blog readers name “The Descendants” as a movie shot in Hawaii that “gets them through the winter.”
Do you even care what a movie shot in Hawaii is about….because you watch mostly for the scenery?
And if you’re local, do you feel under-represented or misrepresented in Hollywood? Please weigh in…
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