There are some roles that are miscast from the very beginning, so that not even the best actor can redeem it, and never moreso when a white actor is cast to play the role of a person of color. Custom and identity is not costume and makeup, and yet for some reason it still keeps happening. Here are some really uncomfortable offenders.
Emma Stone in “Aloha” (2015)
Cameron Crowe initially defended his casting of Stone as Allison Ng in the rom-com he wrote and directed, claiming he based the character (half white, one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Hawaiian) on a real person. But after the movie flopped and the movie became shorthand for “whitewashed” he reconsidered his decision. Stone to this day has born the brunt of the criticism; earlier this year at the Golden Globes, Sandra Oh name-checked the movie in a speech and Stone yelled out from the audience “I’m sorry!”
Angelina Jolie in “A Mighty Heart” (2007)
Based on a true story, about the kidnapping and execution of journalist Daniel Pearl by the Taliban, it mostly follows the story of his wife Mariane Pearl and her quest to find out what happened to him. But the real Mariane Pearl, while born in France, is of Afro-Chinese-Cuban descent on her mother’s side. Interestingly, despite the whitewashing, Jolie received several prominent award nominations for the role, including nominations from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and even the NAACP Image Awards.