The Aloha Brouhaha

A lot of casting Asians to play Asian roles controversy has come up in the last year. When I saw the poster for Aloha and saw blonde hair blue eyed movie stars standing in front of the Hawaiian landscape pleading with their eyes for us to all give a shit about their romantic mishaps and misunderstandings I rolled my eyes and thought about how another opportunity to put beautiful brown people got eaten up by the machine. Then people started freaking about how a character in there played by Emma Stone (blonde/blue) is actually called Allison Ng is part chinese and reps Hawaiian culture. They bitched about it so much that Cameron Crowe said whoops my bad then pointed to all the native Hawaiians he gave jobs by shooting there. It reminds me of british colonials saying how grateful the Indians were that they had jobs being their servants. It also reminded me of people in turn of the century france and En saying where is MY all American and they are not wrong.  But Hollywood is a business. They look at numbers As I said on facebook:

gland putting on chinesey looking dresses and decorating with enamels and that beginning the orientalist craze. The brouhaha about casting is also about just generally feeling unseen. If I describe the cast of Aloha as typically “all American” the Asian americans who have been paying taxes and buying movie tickets and getting fat off fast food just like everyone else are

“Just as banks are a business. a bank doesn't care if you achieve your life's dream to own a house with a white picket fence. They care about fees bonuses and their personal portfolios. Hollywood does not care about your dream to be represented or have your story told. They care about selling tickets and the way they do that is by making you "aspire" to something (something more beautiful than your humdrum life somemething more noble, rich, etc.) Once in a while by accident an artist peeps through with a story that "matters" but mostly its a cash proposition. Emma stone did not audition for the role of Allison Ng. It's a lead. It was an offer and the conversation was like "who can we get on this list who will sell tickets." And by the way the foreign sale, the sale of the american dream to all the ticket buyers overseas is an Abercrombie and Fitch type play-- the utopian white unattainable romantic white america. You think my relatives in indonesia care if the cast of the movie looks like them? Nope they WANT to see white people because they have been taught for decades that THAT is beautiful and desirable. so listen all ye outraged artists and activists. You want to see more roles for asians? You want Hollywood to expand its terribly narrow view of what is beautiful START COMING TO SEE MY SHOWS. START GOING TO SEE ASIAN PLAYS IN GENERAL. BUY TICKETS TO MOVIES STARRING ASIANS. GO SEE GEORGE TAKEI ON BROADWAY. HIT LIKE ON MY SLANTY EYED MAMA FACEBOOK PAGE. HIT LIKE ON ANY ASIAN ARTISTS PAGE. VOTE FOR THE ASIAN CONTESTANTS ON THE VOICE. STAND THE FUCK UP AND VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS. this is America. Money talks bullshit walks. Get involved by supporting writers who write asian stories. DO IT