Cameron Crowe has come under inextinguishable amounts of fire for his new movie, Aloha, which, as I wrote about last week, was all sorts of problematic. Critics ripped it to shreds, Rotten Tomatoes has it at an 18% rating, and native Hawaiians boycotted it, basically sinking it at the box office on opening weekend. But the worst, weirdest, and most WTF moment of the whole thing was the fact that Cameron Crowe cast Emma Stone as a part-Asian character named Allison Ng. Before you come at me with "But what if she's adopted—" or "Maybe she really is part Asian—", no, stop. The character has biological roots to Chinese ancestry, while Emma Stone, the actress, is of Swedish, English, German, Scottish, and Irish descent. I'm sorry but that's basically as white as one could get. It's a move that's so classic Hollywood, but then again, truly astounding because... How is this still happening in 2015?! *Shakes fist*
Even more ridiculous is the fact that this may not be the last time Cameron Crowe has given an Asian role to a white actor. In his upcoming Showtime comedy Roadies, which he wrote and directed, Crowe has cast white actress Jacqueline Byers to play Natalie Shin, a groupie-verging-on-stalker of the fictional band the TV movie follows.
The casting news came in January of this year, and while no one seems to have noted the suspiciously Korean last name of Natalie Shin's character, one anonymous commenter on Deadline has noted:
"Nothing against the young lady who booked the role, but in the script the superfan Natalie Shin character was Asian-American. In light of so much criticism (especially recently) about lack of diversity in Hollywood, I wonder why they decided cast a white actress."
Hmm. I know, anon comments are super reliable. The Internet has yet to lend other, more solid evidence of this yet, but in light of Aloha, I would not be surprised if Crowe has pulled another yellowface. Maybe Cameron Crowe doesn't know what Asian people look like? Can someone in his circle please educate him? Until we find more info on this matter (and before I become pigeon-holed as this out-to-call-out-white-people crusader), Crowe still gets the benefit of the doubt: Maybe Shin can double as a white person's last name, kind of like Lee or Park. That's a tough maybe, though:
Or maybe Jacqueline Byers, despite her Aryan appearance, really is of Korean descent (just being optimistic here). The only problem with that is, without visibility, is there really representation?
Oh well, at least the Roadies cast is slightly less white than the Aloha one.