After casting American actress Emma Stone to play an Asian-American in the new romcom “Aloha”;, Cameron Crowe received complaints from the public on his decision and he now says – he’s sorry.

In the film, Alison is the daughter of a half-Chinese and half-Hawaiian man. After public criticism, the director took responsibility for his choice and released a statement explaining why he chose Emma to play the part:

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The catalyst that created the controversy was The Media Action Network for Asian Americans. The group launched a press release last week condemning Sony Pictures and Cameron Crowe for white-washing the Hawaiian Islands.

“Caucasians only make up 30 per cent of the population, but from watching this film, you’d think they made up 90 per cent,”; the press release read. “This comes in a long line of films (The Descendants50 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 like tourists making a film about their stay in the islands, which is why so many locals hate tourists.  It’s an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii.”

Although Crowe is still facing a lot of backlash from his decision, he appreciates the response.

The movie was released on Friday grossing only $10 million on its opening weekend.