Box Office failures are not uncommon and should always be looked at as a possible outcome of a movie, regardless of whether you have an A-list celebrity cast or a big budget. There is no guarantee for success. However, as bad as it already is to have a box office bomb, add on a controversy and it doesn’t look too good for you. This is the case for Aloha directed by Cameron Crowe. The movie received much criticism on their choice of casting.
This article from Huffington Post analyzes the key points of the movies central themes, and the movie’s representation. Big name stars, a love story, and beautiful scenery, it sounds like the perfect movie, there’s one problem however, the movie is an example of an extremely “white-washed” representation. It is a movie about Hawaii, without any Hawaiians, an inaccurate representation. In addition to there being no Hawaiian actors, Emma Stone was given the role of a quarter-Chinese, quarter-Hawaiian character. The director responded by saying Stone’s character was meant to not look Hawaiian or Asian. Prior to the release there was a buzz of reactions on social media. It is not just the movie Aloha that is guilty of white washing movies. Unfortunately, white washing is all too common, and definitely not the first time it has happened.
Another example of white-washing includes the 2014 movie Exodus: Gods and Kings. The four white lead actors played rich, upper class royal Egyptians, while the lower-class and degraded characters like thieves and slaves were played by black actors, representing an all too common cast list. The director of the film stated with the proposed budget of the film casting those famous white actors over lesser known non-white actors was the only option for him to get the funds to go on with the movie. Social media attempted to start a boycott for the movie, however, unlike Aloha the movie ended up making money.
So why is Hollywood so obsessed with choosing to cast white actors over non white actors? There are plenty of talented non white actors out there in today’s industry. But when it comes to lead roles it is rare to see a non white actor casted. Minorities are either portraying supporting and often degrading roles, or simply not there in the first place. There is so much diversity in America that I find it frustrating that producers are making up excuses like financial reasons as to why they don’t choose to take advantage of the diversity in the society. The true image of America isn’t portrayed as it should be in media. When a minority is represented in the media some people see it as a huge step in Hollywood, but, it shouldn’t be seen that way because statistically media still has a long way to go in representation.