Bradley Cooper film Aloha accused of 'whitewashing' the people of Hawaii

Cameron Crowe's movie has come under fire for casting white actors in the leads

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 27 May 2015 11:42
Cameron Crowe wearing floral necklaces at the Aloha premiere
Cameron Crowe wearing floral necklaces at the Aloha premiere

Many are looking forward to the big screen return of Cameron Crowe with the star-studded Aloha but, just days before release, the film has been met with allegations of “whitewashing” the people of Hawaii.

The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) has blasted the Jerry Maguire director for delegating all the primary roles to white Hollywood actors – the cast including the likes of Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams and Alec Baldwin.

“Caucasians only make up 30% of the population [of Hawaii], but from watching this film, you’d think they made up 99%,” says Guy Aoki, a member of MANAA in a press release.

“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.”

Aoki goes on to claim that the biggest roles reserved for Asian-Pacific Islanders in the film are unnamed “tourists” and “guests”.

He added “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.”

Cameron Crowe and Alec Baldwin wearing floral necklaces at the Aloha premiere

Aloha already seems relatively doomed to fail. The film was originally scheduled for release in December last year but was then moved back, twice. If that wasn’t a bad sign then perhaps the hacked Sony emails from Amy Pascal were.

In one email she wrote the tinkered script was “way way worse” than the original, that various plot points make “no sense”, and that the “script is ridiculous”.

The New York Post claims critics have been banned from broadcasting their opinions until just hours before general release, while test audiences have reportedly thought it was awful.

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