Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
Earlier this year, Emma Stone and director Cameron Crowe took a lot of heat from many viewers over her casting as a mixed-race character in his movie, Aloha. Now, the 26-year-old actress is speaking out about how the controversy impacted her.
In the film, which also stars Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams, Stone, who is white, played Air Force liaison Allison Ng, who is supposed to be part native Hawaiian and part Chinese. Many viewers felt the movie, which was set in Hawaii, did not depict the racially diverse state accurately. The movie received mostly negative reviews and flopped at the box office.
"I've become the butt of many jokes," the Australian news outlet News.au.com quoted Stone as saying recently. "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."
She also talked about playing love interests of characters played by much older actors. She stars opposite Joaquin Phoenix, 40, in Woody Allen's new movie, Irrational Man, which is set for release on Friday.
"It's rampant in Hollywood and it's definitely been that way for a long time, both culturally and in movies," News.au.com quoted Stone as saying, adding that the new film "is contingent upon the age difference."
"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," she said. "There are some flaws in the system...My eyes have been opened in many ways this year."
In response to criticism over her Aloha character, Crowe had last month posted on his blog what he said was a "heartfelt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice." Sony Pictures, the film's studio, said in a statement that Aloha "respectfully showcases the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people," The Los Angeles Times had reported.
"As far back as 2007, Captain Allison Ng was written to be a super-proud 1//4 Hawaiian who was frustrated that, by all outward appearances, she looked nothing like one," Cameron wrote. "A half-Chinese father was meant to show the surprising mix of cultures often prevalent in Hawaii. Extremely proud of her unlikely heritage, she feels personally compelled to over-explain every chance she gets. The character was based on a real-life, red-headed local who did just that."
"However I am so proud that in the same movie, we employed many Asian-American, Native-Hawaiian and Pacific-Islanders, both before and behind the camera," he added.