Caan he say that?

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“Hawaii Five-0” actor Scott Caan got himself into a little bit of trouble last week after stating some unpopular opinions of Hawaii during an interview with talk show host Chelsea Handler on her show “Chelsea Lately.” When asked about living in Hawaii, Caan stated that he doesn’t like living here because “everything’s very slow motion” and the food “sucks.” Handler and Caan even discussed the crystal meth problem in Hawaii and how surfing here is “survival.”

In reaction to Caan’s comments, many Hawaii residents turned to Internet message boards to vent their displeasure. Comments poked fun at Caan’s height, lack of acting ability and sadly, even his race. Comments along the lines of “Go home haole” were quite frequent, disturbingly so. Some threatened to never watch the show again, while others suggested that his character be written out because of his comments.

Can we all just take a second and relax? This is just one man stating his opinion on a talk show. Did his comments portray Hawaii negatively? Indeed. But the people of Hawaii who reacted so vehemently did a far worse job than Caan in making Hawaii look bad. First of all, it’s a shame that many locals chose to deride an entire race by lumping in the hundreds of thousands of haoles who live here with Caan. Since when did Caan become a spokesman for all haoles? I know many haoles who reside here who are quite comfortable with the island’s pace and lifestyle. Yet when locals make comments such as “typical haole” in reaction to Caan’s comments, it’s an unfortunate stereotype that is totally uncalled for.

Then there are those who were disappointed in Caan because he should be an “ambassador for Hawaii” and is on a show that promotes Hawaii, so he shouldn’t be speaking negatively about it. Who gave Caan this role? It’s not his responsibility to promote our beautiful state and encourage visitors to come. He’s no more an ambassador for Hawaii than Charles Barkley was a role model for children. He’s an actor on a TV show. That’s it. And as for “Hawaii Five-0” being a promotional piece for Hawaii? I sincerely hope not. If that was the case, I’d avoid Hawaii completely with all the multiple murders, shootings, human trafficking, dope dealing and gang violence we witness each week.

The bottom line is that Caan is simply here for a job and is not accustomed to the way things work here. Is that such a sin? How many times have we traveled somewhere, either for work or play, and complained about the food, the people or the weather? Quite often, I’d say. And how many of us have written negative reviews of restaurants and services on popular review sites? It’s not only okay to have an opinion, but many of us even encourage expressing them publicly in such ways. So why is Caan hated so much for expressing his? Just because we don’t agree with him?

As for Caan’s comments, I actually agree with most of them. I’ve lived here practically my whole life and even I get frustrated sometimes by the pace of some people. Ever been stuck behind someone driving 40mph on an empty freeway? Didn’t you get frustrated by that? It’s just the way of life here, like it or not. This deliberate pace of life is actually embraced by many. I’m sure we’ve all seen those bumper stickers that say “Slow down, this ain’t the mainland.” So I don’t think Caan calling that out is entirely inaccurate, so why should we be so angry about it?

As for the the crystal meth issue, this was actually initiated by Handler, and Caan just sort of went along with it, but sometimes the truth hurts. We certainly do have a drug problem. Does it need to be acknowledged during an entertainment talk show? Probably not, but again, it was Handler who brought it up, not Caan.

The only thing I’d really disagree with Caan on is the quality of food in Hawaii. I think he’s just wrong there. Readers of Nonstop Honolulu know that there are numerous places to find delicious offerings locally, and I’m assuming he just hasn’t found them yet. Someone should really direct him to this website. But in the meantime, I’m not ready to persecute the man just because he happens to have had a few disappointing meals.

Caan has since issued an apology for his comments, but this was more than likely a PR move in reaction to all the angry backlash. It doesn’t change how he really feels about Hawaii, nor should he feel it has to. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we all know that an apology such as this doesn’t really change anything anyway.

So can we please practice a little more tolerance the next time a Mainland visitor has some not-so-nice things to say about our wonderful state? One of the few comments in reaction to Caan’s TV appearance I actually enjoyed was someone stating that they’d be willing to show the actor where to eat and surf. That is exactly the attitude we should be embracing – education over condemnation. We’re always talking about sharing our aloha spirit. How about next time we practice what we preach?

90 comments
KevinSOshiro
KevinSOshiro

somebody told me that Hawaii (mainly Oahu/Honolulu) was a miniature Los Angeles. slow-paced (try Molokai and Lanai). the food, I like the food ! I've been to Molokai once, it is quite laid back and a closely knit community (think Hawaiian homestead land like Waimanalo ('Nalo town) or Papakolea next to the Punchbowl cemetery area). i never went to Lanai yet. This is a place where everybody knows everybody and their business (gossip). quite relaxing to tell you the truth..

LandsbergLaw
LandsbergLaw

I would suggest, since I've moved here, locals have opened their homes and lives to me. My immediate family is so far away local people have made sure I've never had to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving alone. They've made sure I know what a slush float is or to affirmatively ask for gravy on my boneless. Now, if I were to turn on them and say ANYTHING negative without tempering it with the smallest positive (ie, you want to say there's no hustle? I disagree, but mention that people stop to smell the roses. A positive view of the same situation) I would understand why they would be mad at me. Mr. Caan's been in our homes every week, he makes a lot of money to do something that is very easy, he's not building rock wall here, and he wants to complain about the people who pay for his Ocean-view home on the slopes of Diamondhead? I think it's justifiable People are mad he can't say ONE positive thing about these islands. This isn't someone who doesn't have an option to leave. This isn't someone who takes a vacation and has a bad tour or a hotel room with bedbugs. He's currently (potentially) Hawaii's most visible famous resident, definitely more than McGarrett or Daniel Dae Kim, and he takes his chance to bad mouth the islands. Of course people who open their homes to him are mad. They should be. Aloha doesn't mean walk all over me. Don't try to read that into the definition. Aloha also means goodbye.

harrycovair
harrycovair

Slow pace: in certain instances and circumstances (but not overall)

 

 Meth problem: no argument from me

 

Caucasian bashing: #KillHaoleDay growing up in school. lol This is the Aloha State. Learn to live and love. I did find the comment from Caan disturbing at first but hey, it's a open dialog/comment type of show and Mr. Cann is entitled to say what he wants. As for the open bashing by the public... CHILL OUT!

 

malama i kekahi i kekahi, e malama pono - take care of each other, take good care of yourself

 

Food: don't diss or make remarks about the foods in Hawaii till you've tried it. Tagging some of my twitter food pics with #ScottCaanDidntEatThis or #ScottCaanProbablyAteHere. Thanks for the idea @@nai808 

 

tituschong
tituschong

Opinions are okay, but there is a thing called discretion.  If people use their discretion to begin with, they don't have to later make apologies that they might or might not mean.  Being nice and showing some class is very easy (for most people) and goes a long way!  And I think that's all that people were hoping that Scott would have done.

EwaKane1
EwaKane1

Mr. Choi and Mr. Caan have perfect right to their opinions, and this is what is supposed to make the USA great.  Your article has some valid points and they were well noted and in your statements about "Locals" now I find you being a bit of a Hypocrite in some respect to the term "Locals" itself.. 

 

First, Mr. Caan chose to make comments, that most intelligent people would think twice to make, for instance we (Hawai'i) have shown nothing but "Aloha" to CBS and the HI 5-0 cast and production and to have one of its main cast members make such a flip comment by using "generalities" "The food in Hawai'i Sucks" when as you so clearly state, " maybe he should have been more specific" and just picked on the lack of mainland caliber "Mainland-style-foods" ie. Italian, French, Mexican, Greek, Spanish etc.  But here too you are wrong. 

 

I know you were raised here from 1 yr old, and I am apologetic  assuming to an all Korean family with Korean speaking parents from Korea with Korean sensibilities and values.  Which aren't necessarily  the same as it would seem to as you say us "locals" with an amalgam of 'fused,blended cultures" with a Myriad of accepted customs and values. But already I feel you have taken a mainland colored opinion with your comments. Mindful I don't know you but if you went to University in the Mainland this would mold one's opinions based on this expanded mindset. But  let me be clear I am a "Poi Dog"(Hawaiian,Filipino,Chinese,Japanese,Portuguese,Dutch, and Spanish ethnicity),  So my cultural and moral compass was forged from this Aina and people that immigrated here in the mid and late 1800's  and were endemic peoples that have been here for Eons. or so to have a (excuse me!)  but "relative" Malahini Ohana probably less than (50 yrs)  to these Islands making Cavalier generalizations and comments about "locals" having to "Toughen Up" or "get a thick skin"  Your wrong! 

 

The injustice done upon our People of most of my "Ethnic make-up" and in particular my endemic Hawaiian culture is the root of what you call "over sensitivity"  and is trivialized by newcomers and a lot of ignorant Malahini since the Illegal Overthrow of it's sovereign People and it's Monarchy and their forced subjugation to assimilate to a Haole rule and Idioms of what is civilized and what is right based on their ideals not our own traditional values. So how we were not to speak our native language or practice our cultural beliefs is Arrogant.  So because people like yourself have accepted and capitulate to accept these as the "new Norm" or "Accepted modern culture" we "true locals" are assumed neither capable or intelligent enough to have our prejudices based on a few centuries of a people and culture decimated by "outsiders" and "foreigners" telling us how to live, dress and act.

 

So to flash forward now and have you and a barage of Mainlanders comments on how "we don't have Aloha! and we should be setting an example with Aloha is just unreal brah!  But again you miss the point and the true Meaning of "Aloha"  which isn't unconditional, so after centuries of being talked down to and Pidgeon holed by foreigners you could see that  what might be a trivial and over sensitive  to Mr. Caan and his fans and supporters who just keep reinforcing all the hateful and ignorant caucasian stereotypes.

So who started this dialogue in the first place! You espouse we were too harsh, and He didn't want to be a role model, well I think this was a given when he chose to play a character that was Iconic on a show that's original series was a Hawaii TV Legend. So maybe Mainland people and Malahini's should be educated to the injustice that happened to Hawaii's people not just the Hawaiian people but the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino etc. at the hands of Haole overlords and so called Christians Missionaries and the Rich Plantation owners.

 

But ultimately most locals would have more common sense than to "Crap in their own tub", and I mean for Mr. Caan to disparage any part of Hawaii to locals that feel we have extended our Aloha to all within the HI 5-0 Ohana!, but only to have some local people feel like he is unappreciative or ignorant to our actions or where our lifestyle bases gets it's origins is quite hurtful to some..and even though he isn't a role-model or to be held responsible to Hawaii's people, nevertheless is it not too prudent to speak to Hawaii so negatively given it's given him steady work since Entourage's completion  So it's yielded him a nice income and I am sure a future residual commission. So why does he now choose to speak candid about how he feels about this place we call Home? Doesn't he know he has to come back to work with us slow people who will ultimately cook his "Shitty" food. Not to smart?!!!

 

So of course a lot of folks have over-reacted and made off-color comments and that's not right,  but you being educated, know this comes from usually less educated, uncouth individuals or young immature adolescence so those of less restrain would be easy to react without fully thinking to how these comments might be hurtful.  So for you to lump "locals" into one group you are no less guility of the same act of "Lumping Haoles" into one group when you and I both know this is not true! So to represent the more educated and Worldly locals...You now insult the intelligent arm of what you call "Local" Too!!  I wish you the best Mr. Choi but I think you should research about where this so called "Chip" mentality originated and then maybe you'd might not side with yet another mainlander that neither "gets' it! or more likely doesn't care truly about the history or culture. and besides when I travel to a foreign or new place.  I always do my best to research the customs and values of it's peoples and try and learn the appropriate etiquette and a minimum of their language and I find people respect you more if at least you tried to embrace who these folks are. 

 

But again Mr. Caan must be too rushed or indifferent to learn about our rich culture and History as from experience most mainland transplants are too.  So I ask you this, "if it's okay that we should be more intelligent and we should learn to have more Aloha and we should be more educated and tolerant! and we should all get road rage and start driving over the posted limits while we're texting on our phones because the 40 mph is just not acceptable to those not from here, then in the same vein don't you think Mr. Caan and all malahini should at least make an attempt to learn our history and our ways, values and of course our food culture as it is obviously by your commentary you yourself haven't learned enough to understand where this misplaced distrust and Hate originates or by pointing back your finger and singling out and segregating us "locals" as the problem, means you haven't learned Aloha, it's much more than a word it's a lifestyle you "LIVE" each day, and to get Aloha you must give aloha unconditionally, if not then you get what we locals see from some Haole's is continuing cycle of just "Takers with no Ha" or Ha A'ole: one with no breath or Mana! Aloha Works both ways from respect, so hard to respect if it's not reciprocated back..  Also I blame the Media for fanning the flames, I am sure most people wouldn't have heard about this interview in the first place. so Peace out braddah!! and Malama Pono!

 

 

JJLee
JJLee

Hi Myong thank you for this article. I agree that people's hateful, racist, and ignorant comments about Scott Caan and Los Angeles were far worse than the words he spoke. There's a saying that a person's true character is revealed in their reaction to obstacles and differences. I thought the "aloha spirit" was not about "I will show you aloha so long as you censor yourself, think like me, speak like me, look like me" but rather about kindness, love, and forgiveness. I don't think we should be an "eye-for-an-eye" society ("he bad mouthed me, so I'm going to bad mouth him" . . . . "he talked bad about Hawaii, so we're going to talk bad about "LA"). It's a fact that no one likes to hear negative comments about where they live, but the "go back to the mainland dumb short haoli" comments that have been everywhere is not making Hawaii look any better. Perhaps he could have rephrased his opinions in a more tactful way, but then again he is on the Handler show, not Charlie Rose. And also, I personally respect people who aren't afraid to express their opinions. And in all fairness, as someone who grew up her whole life into adulthood in Hawaii but has lived in New York City and on the West Coast, I agree with some of his comments. The pace in Hawaii is definitely slow compared to most places on the mainland; some people love it, some people hate it. Why so sensitive about this fact? There is a drug problem in Hawaii - just like every place in the United States. I don't think he was trying to isolate Hawaii, I think he was just stating a fact. I think perhaps people not from Hawaii have this perception that Hawaii is this paradise free of any crime, drugs, and pollution so might be taken aback when they see drugs in the environment or the piles of trash, filth and crime in places like Waikiki. There is good and bad in every city. As for food, I agree that maybe he didn't go to the right places or the majority of food here might not be his personal preference. I love Japanese food so I can find some of the best in Hawaii. But after living in larger cities, one thing you can't get food wise in Hawaii is the bounty of diversity in cuisines like Spanish, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Ethiopian, French, Italian, Southern, etc. etc. - there might be one or two but we're talking bounty of authentic choices. So perhaps that's where he was coming from. Not everyone is into bentos and plate lunches and we shouldn't crucify them for this. And also should we crucify the entire cast of Hawaii 5-0 because he doesn't like Hawaii? They are all here to do a job. And from my understanding, Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim seem to love and praise Hawaii. Should an entire show be cancelled because of Scott Caan's comments? Why do we also have this tendency to clump an entire race together when one person or a few people piss someone off? When we start saying "he or she is a typical xxxx race" we are racist, plain and simple. Is racism a part of the aloha spirit?

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

MC:  WoW, lots of comments...a lesson here on bringing out blog comments.  Say or do something controversial and the whole world wants to take you on.  That's why the Donalds, Rushs, Howards, Bills, Jerrys, of this society are so successful.  They "push the button" and get them fired up. You picked a good one to write about...congrats.  Remember, you don't have to use logic...just emotion, and the it will get many fired up.  Opinions are like okoles...everybody got one!

Terrysagirl
Terrysagirl

The number one thing that seems to be overlooked is that the interview was meant to be a humorous exchange done for laughs.  Chelsea Handler is not a serious talk show host - it's all about the jokes and being offensive.  I have it from one of the craft services guys who's worked on the show since it started, that Scott actually LOVES the local food.  Caan's comment on Handler is what's called "a joke."  This knee-jerk reaction reminds me of when Alex O'Loughlin joked to an interviewer (who had asked about his ardent female following) "What I want to know is where are all my young, good looking fans?"  He was referencing his following of middle-aged women who have backed him since his first American television show.  Was it a smart comment to make? Probably not, given how overly sensitive some people can be, but he was trying to be funny. Predictably, there was a backlash among the humorously challenged, who screeched "How could he disrespect his true fans like that?!!" Blah, blah, blah.

 

Come on folks, can't we just lighten up and not take everything so darned seriously, particularly when there are so many real issues in this country that we should be getting angry about?

LadyBird808
LadyBird808

Myong Choi, first of all, it’s nice to see this issue put into an essay form rather than a stream of comments on various social networking feeds, so thank you for taking the time to write your article. I do take some issue with what Caan said, more so because I think he behaved quite unprofessionally. It’s one thing when your co-worker or neighbor dislikes living in Hawaii, it’s another thing to be a part of “the industry” and say it on national television. I’m sure others in his field are shaking their heads too, either having learned the hard way as Caan is, or just knowing better than to speak negatively about the country/state/city/town/village that you are filming in. Of course he is allowed to have his opinions, but he should have been smarter about it.

 

With that said, I wanted to touch on an area of your article where you bring up education--that we should be educating Caan on Hawaii’s food, surfing spots, and other various aspects of Hawaii. On that vein, it would seem appropriate to also address in your article *why* so many locals were hurt or offended by his comments, and by addressing it, I mean beyond pointing out all the faults of locals (being over-sensitive, not showing aloha, deriding a whole race...) while coming to the rescue of Caan. I agree, a lot, if not most, of the local comments were uncalled for but it’s not fair to take so much time to analyze why Caan said the things he did, and not use that same approach for locals.

 

MC, you (according to your bio) and I both grew up in Hawaii (though I was also born here) as non-white and non-Hawaiian, and we both know that there are a lot of locals and Hawaiians who have had negative and very hurtful experiences with mainland haoles that range from the present day and/or reach back through familial generations; many locals and Hawaiians are usually already on the defense when it comes to what mainland haoles have to say about Hawaii. Does this excuse the behavior and language? No, it really doesn’t. But I, along with a lot of other locals, grew up around a lot of mainland haoles that never had anything nice to say about Hawaii, or its people, or the food, or the pace, or pidgin, or the way “we” drive, etc. Some of us, including myself, work with mainland haoles that continue to say those same things, daily. Many of our parents and grandparents have had to listen to these complaints their entire lives, as well. Coupled with the turbulent history of Hawaii, these experiences can shape the way a person may react to the things someone like Caan says. I'm not saying that we have to live in the past and hold on to grudges, but it is not unreasonable to at least try to understand that many historical consequences are still felt today. 

 

To be fair, I have a lot of mainland haole friends that have embraced Hawaii, and in return Hawaii has embraced them back--but-- they also took the time to learn and educate themselves about the cultural dynamics of Hawaii, as well as the history of Hawaii, a history that can make being white in Hawaii an initial and sometimes on-going challenge. Interestingly, these are actually some issues that have been written into the scripts for Hawaii 5-0 so I’m not sure why it hasn’t resonated with Caan.

 

So, while it’s important to educate Caan and others alike about different places to eat and better surf spots, it’s also important to educate him on why certain feelings run deep here. Again, just to be clear, I’m not saying that just because Hawaii had a rough history with white people it gives them a pass to make vitriolic statements whenever someone has negative criticisms about our home. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have knee-jerk reactions, and both Caan and Hawaii’s locals might have taken more time to think about their words. I think trying to understand (not necessarily agree, but at least understand) both sides is a step in the right direction. We all know that lashing back is not the best way to deal with these types of issues, and unfortunately that is what has happened. But brushing it off as just being overly sensitive without offering any reason or explanation, and looking down on locals for not exuding the aloha spirit 24/7 is just as discouraging.

 

One of the things I know and love about Hawaii is that if locals can see and feel that you are at least trying, in a sincere fashion, to become acclimated here, we will help you. To me, that’s the aloha spirit.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @LandsbergLawThanks for your thoughts. Sure, it's totally within reason for Hawaii residents to take offense at Caan's comments. But does that justify the hate, racism, and threats of violence in response? I hardly think so and that was the primary point of my post.

 

Also, acting is not "something that is very easy." It's a craft that requires talent, practice, education and hard work. It's not something anyone can do and even those who want to do it face rejection all the time.

 

And as for Caan making a lot of money off of the show, I'd argue that Hawaii has reaped its share of benefits too with the creation of jobs and the amount of Hollywood money pumped into the State's economy.

 

As I write this I realize that it may sound like I'm defending Caan which certainly isn't my intent. I just wish Hawaii residents had a little displayed a little more class and restraint in responding to his remarks.

Terrysagirl
Terrysagirl

 @LandsbergLaw First of all, not that an he isn't privileged, but these guys work 16 hour days, sometimes 6 days a week, so it's not as easy as you think. Secondly, Scott has said positive things about Hawaii before, commenting on the lovely weather, the natural beauty and the very nice people.  What you have to realize is that television interviews get cut and edited to serve the purpose of the particular show, and Chelsea Handler's MO is to be offensive.  Scott made a mistake in saying these things to going along with her jokes, but his biggest mistake was to appear on the show at all.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @harrycovair  @nai808 Thanks for your comment.  Yeah, the bashing just got out of hand which is what spurred me to write this blog post. But I really enjoy reading other people's perspectives and justifications as well.

 

kailababez
kailababez

 @tituschongI dont agree with your comment all the way. I was born and raised in Hawaii, but lived in Arizona and Los Angeles. I was raised to hate hoales and anyone from anywhere else on earth because they were believed to be the "wrong way cold hearted people". We deemed ourselves the best! WRONG!!! We are islanders on a small little part of the world, some never leave the island. We are not as versatile and diverse as we believe we are being that we have so many different race of orgins or birthplaces. Because locals forces everyone into a one way of thinking and acting and interacting.  So its as if everyone is stuck in time because no one grows inwardly or outwardly at all!!! Our ways do not work, it does not generate love, peace, harmony and happiness deemed the Aloha Spirit. We havent even discovered we have minds that could help us live in such a way because we still use our fists of fury, anger and acting tough. Barbaric!!  We all believe we have so much hear but sheesh a good heart loves, accepts and is at peace with everyone and anyone. Unless youre Polynesian, you dont belong in Hawaii regardless if you're eighth generation of another race born and raised in Hawaii. I mean i could go and on about how we are in Hawaii.  Its like a people in a fractional part of the world who never left their little area and never learned anything else other than what theyve learened, experienced and been exposed to, acts according to what and who and where theyve been which is limited  yet expects everyone to be the way they are and everyone else has the problem. No we are the ones who needs to grow inside and out, broadening our perspectives 100% all around. Trust me everyone and everything would seem different and nothing wrong with them, especiallly Hoales. A word that sounds like the N word to me. I hate the word Hoale because of the way its been used and nobody does shit about it! We are the true KKKs here in Hawaii. Btw no Im not white. Before ever leaving the islands i couldnt get along with anyone other than from Hawaii, i couldnt kick it  anywhere else except being in Hawaii. And i wanted everyone to conform to our ways here in the island. OMG it like asking someone to regress back to being infantile! But overtime being around more and more mainlanders and then moving to the mainland, omg people everywhere else other than Hawaii are fricken normal!!! They are much more loving and nice and polite in the mainland. i was able to just let loose and be real be myself and be all of me. People are just smarter bottom line so its just so easy to get along with everyone, everyone is so dam normal!!! Perspectives are broadened, smarter, versatile and just been around allot more, their minds, hearts and spirits are much more bigger.   People are used to the nice and the rude people, so they are thicker skinned not being overly sensitive things just slides of their backs and we get on with shit. Over here in Hawaii, we are so used to everyone being nice nice which isnt bad but its really not nice that we are being its actually the fact that we are so overly sensitve  that its all about, "what you acting tough or cocky or sassy  and what you looking at.....what you giving me stink eye?" and we only have one way of dealing with everything, beefing/acting tough/anger. Do we even have brains to figure anything out....YUP we sure do but we sure do not utilize any parts of it!! We get stuck at just the hint of, 'oh you acting up with me" kind mentality and we ever get onto the getting anything done. We arent protecting our so called unique way of being, we are stunted in growth mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. So it us, not everyone else. No one is acting wrong, we just dont anything or how to act, think or feel or perceive correctly  anything outside of our box. But we think we got it down. No we dont. We hold people back including ourselves ...slow paced said by Caan  is candly coating it..... Caan touched only the surface of whats wrong with this island. Its the people,  that's what's wrong with Hawaii. We need to grow so much more than we think we dont. We need to stop defending our ways, we arent defending our islands or people or "a people", we dont like change but in our case we are stunted in growth so dont expect others to bow down to us. Sheesh when i got back from the mainland, people in Hawaii are actually stupid flat out. Feel like im talking to idiots, everyone acts on a idiotic level bottom line yet no one even thinks we are acting like fools to the outside world. Sheesh listen to morning radio  shows, local guys including girls cant even articulate a thought let alone a sentence, im upset because no one is open to see somethng is wrong with us, not everyone else!!! Caan's statements are wake up calls to actually save us!!!! CHANGE IS GOOD.                                                                                                                                   

Terrysagirl
Terrysagirl

 @tituschong Agreed that Scott's comments (as least those that made it to the final cut of the show) lacked filtering, but so many of the comments I've seen aimed at Caan were just downright vicious and racist.  Two wrongs don't make a right.

JJLee
JJLee

 @tituschong I agree with you about class. I'm sure what Scott said were his truthful feelings that I'm sure in hindsight he wished he could have said in a different way. Maybe he could have said "The food's not my preference" rather than "the food sucks" or "the pace is a bit slower for a on-the-move kind of guy like me" instead of "it's slow." But how many times have we ever wanted to rewind and say things a bit differently? We've all been there. And yes, I think maybe he could have coupled the class with honesty, but doesn't class go both ways? I think he was on the spot on that show, I think he said some things in ways he shouldn't have - he is human like us and we all make mistakes, but I think the main point of this article is that the reaction to his statements do not portray Hawaii in a better light especially with offensive comments about white people. That's not very classy either.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @tituschongYes, thanks for your comment. You're totally right. If Caan had been a little smarter about the whole thing this would not have been an issue.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @EwaKane1Nice comments! Thanks! Yes, you are right that I was educated on the mainland and like you said I do believe that does influence one's mentality toward our island lifestyle simply because we are exposed to so many different things while living there. This is why I've always encouraged many to go to college on the mainland to see, live, experience other aspects of the country and the world.

 

Reading your comments, I can see your point about how I generalized being "local." Thanks for pointing that out. Like you say, the majority of those overly aggressive and threatening comments were most likely from one specific demographic.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and provide your response. It's greatly appreciated.

 

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @JJLeeGood points! It's always good to hear personal examples that can support a person's comments. Thanks!

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @Annoddah_Dave Yeah, I didn't expect this much commentary on this subject but I've found everyone's comments to be very interesting to read! I love to hear everyone's opinions on the subject on both sides of the matter.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @Terrysagirl Yup, agree. His comments were made on a comedy talk show so not to be taken so seriously. Thanks for your comment.

 

marthajsmith
marthajsmith

 @Terrysagirl Oh my word, thank you. Why is it so hard for people to understand that it was not supposed to be serious but humorous banter. Soctt doesn't hate Hawaii or the food he wasn't being serious. What is wrong with people!

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @LadyBird808 Thank you for that insightful and informative comment. I agree that if Caan had shown sincerity in the past in trying to acclimate to our environment people may have been a little more forgiving. But I'm learning that there are many stories floating around out there about his "tan-ta-ra" attitude so I'm sure that didn't help matters.

 

kailababez
kailababez

 @MyongChoi  @LandsbergLaw

 AMEN!                                                              

LandsbergLaw
LandsbergLaw

@MyongChoi You don't need 500 words to say "racism and violence is wrong". No one would disagree with you. Your article is your thoughts, which are valid, but what you suggest is that what he said is true and therefore excusable. I disagree with both of those points. And I never said acting is easy. I said his JOB is easy. It may be hard to get his job, it may take craft, but we're talking action tv, not Godfather here. Tell me for one second his job is harder than building Rockwall or teaching children in Middle school or sitting in a room with documents before tax time you lose credibility. AND he gets what, 6 months off? And what, gets paid how much? Why do you think the job is so hard to get? Because it is so easy to do for such high return. Rather than be paternalistic and tell Locals what to do, a more interesting question is WHY? Why did locals feel the need to react as such. Here's why: because he portrayed every but the stereotype as the privileged rich Haole who the locals are not as good as. He lived up to every rich, thankless, Haole "I can take from you what I want say bad things about the help and they won't talk back". That's your outrage. As a Jew we're very careful. Every time I say something is expensive I walk into a stereotype and I have to be cognizant of it. That's what he did. That's why he provoked the "Haole" response. If his complaints were different. The venom would have been different. And don't get it twisted, Chelsea started with how positive living in Hawaii is. He changed the course (and all that is per-discussed backstage). The problem is he had every opportunity to say ONE nice thing about Hawaii. He didn't say one. Not one? No no not one. Just one? No no not one! Mcgarrett, Kim have done everything they can to integrate. Park seems disinterested but that's her option, she's not poisoning us. You have 5 minutes to talk, and your best story is how miserable we make you? That's the worst part of the WASP Haole stereotype made flesh.

tituschong
tituschong

 @kailababez Thanks for reaching out.  I, too, have lived in both places, as well as in Asia.  Each locale has its good and bad points.  I think the type of "Hawaii" person you describe is just one out of many.  There are also smart people who live here; people who are open-minded and complex thinkers.  For them, there are alternate radio shows to listen to.  KHPR FM, for example.  If Scott's statements had actually brought about change, that would have been great!  But it seems to have affected some people in quite the opposite way.

tituschong
tituschong

 @Terrysagirl That's true.  I hope he will be more cautious in the future, after this incident.

Terrysagirl
Terrysagirl

 @JJLee  @tituschong Actually, the comment about the food was a joke. I know from a friend who works on the show that he loves a lot of the local food.

tituschong
tituschong

 @JJLee Yes, you're right.  Class does go both ways!  Maybe I should have added "smarts"!  For example, if I knew a certain talk show host was snarky, I would refuse to go on her show.

tituschong
tituschong

 @MyongChoi You're welcome.  Yes, "smarts" is a good trait to add to "nice" and "classy"!

JJLee
JJLee

 @OhhAsh  @EwaKane1 OhhAsh, I agree with your comments. Lived in Hawaii my whole life but live on the mainland now (mainly due to economic reasons). Our world history is full of oppressed people and takeovers of land and people - whether that be of Spanish takeover, British in India, Japanese colonization in Korea, or the way African Americans were enslaved for so so many years (the civil rights movement was not that long ago), none is worse than other - they are all equally bad parts of our world history. Oppression still happens today. I agree about the terrible plight of so many Native Americans. But this is a whole different dimension than I think was the purpose of this article. I don't think Myong is less "local" because his parents are Korean immigrants or aren't of all the stated ethnicities. He seems like a proud "local" to me the way he promotes local businesses on this great site, and despite having been mainland educated, still came back "home" to enrich Hawaii with a different perspective. This country was built on immigrants - no matter from what country. Look at the melting pot that is New York City or Los Angeles. That's what's great about Hawaii too as a melting pot, so to say so and so is not "local" enough because they don't have generations and generations back of a certain blood line is a bit disheartening. I think it's wonderful to have pride for one's city, culture, ethnicity, and country; but sometimes some people can come off as elitist and show more exclusionary tendencies, which can come off arrogant, and I don't think (in my humble personal opinion) that's a good energy to be spreading around such a small place. Am I or my friends born and raised in Hawaii less "local" because we are born from a Japanese-born mother and a Texas-born father although we were born and raised in Hawaii and lived in Hawaii all through college well into adulthood? Does that make our opinions less so? Are the Koreans or Japanese like Myong's parents who chose Hawaii as their home and work extremely hard to run small businesses on this island (notoriously unfriendly economically to small business and entrepreneurs) and thereby bring economic diversity and income into this small island without much business revenue opportunity less "local" just because they are one ethnicity born in another place? I have white friends who are born and raised in Hawaii who love Hawaii with all of their hearts and have gotten harassed growing up in school because they didn't fit in (the "dumb haoli" comment thrown at them too casually and easily) just as I've had friends who were Korean and Black get isolated in the same way. Hawaii as a whole is and should be better than this. We are a melting pot, and should embrace everyone, not perpetuate race divides and stereotypes. Also, I forgot to mention this in my last (I really do apologize, long comment) that Scott Caan  was on point about the surfing thing. I have friends who are white who have had such a hard time surfing on the island. When did the ocean become one man's territory? Why does a "wave" belong to one person or a group of persons? Why can't a "haoli" just go surfing with ease and without weird ocean political BS? The last I checked, the waters, the mountains, the air belong to ALL HUMANS regardless of race, gender, cultural identity or how long you lived in a particular state. Hawaii is such a beautiful place but sometimes there is this underlying - sometimes passive aggressive and sometimes downright aggressive - anger towards "haolis," mainlanders, tourists (who provide many locals with jobs and economic stability), and anyone who is just "different" by Hawaii standards. Also, regarding some comments about bringing mainland values and mainland taste into the island - if Hawaii people didn't want mainland stuff, then why do so many people from Hawaii put so many of their dollars in support of places like Costco (which is always crowded in Hawaii), Walmart, Sam's Club, Ala Moana Shoppping Center filled with mainland style and stores. Why drive the foreign-oil guzzling Chevy SUVs and Ford Pick-up trucks? Why not walk or bike or bus or car pool more? Why not support more made in Hawaii products and encourage more Hawaii mom-and-pop shops and restaurants rather than the chains? This could go on and on but Hawaii is no longer an isolated place - there are mainlanders, mainland influence, and mainland "haoli" people on this island.  Either people shouldn't be so antogonistic toward it or be more consistent (talk the talk, walk the walk). But I do like that this has sparked dialogue, healthy debate, and opinions being expressed, whether we agree with each other or not. I bet Myong's thinking, what the heck did I start? Again, dialogue and debate and yes differences are all good. Let's all love each other and our unique tastes and differences!

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @OhhAsh  @EwaKane1Wow, some great insight and information there! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts!

 

WERUreo
WERUreo

 @MyongChoi  @LadyBird808 Completely unrelated to this topic: what is the origin of "tan-ta-ra"??  My mom dem always say that, and I basically know what it means, but is it an actual word?  Just slang?

Terrysagirl
Terrysagirl

 @LandsbergLaw  I think you made one of@MyongChoi 's points.  The racial stereotypes that are part of Hawaiian culture are now on display to the rest of the world, making Hawaii look worse than Caan. By screaming, "Go home, haole!" those people have made the islands look must less hospitable to outsiders.  Of course, it's not as simple as that, but that's the impression many have gotten as a result of the degree of anger directed at Scott.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @LandsbergLaw It's obvious we could go on and on about this and I'd frankly actually welcome that opportunity to do so one day. I know that we're Twitter followers so it would be cool to meet IRL and have a beer and talk story. And I say that because I really respect your opinions and commentary and very much appreciate you (as well as others commenting on this blog) keeping it all very civilized and well thought out.

LandsbergLaw
LandsbergLaw

 @MyongChoi  It STILL doesn't make sense (playing. Love you.)!

 

1. And I'm not going to convince you that it SHOULD bother you. You're allowed your own feelings. The question is should you have empathy for people it does bother, or dismiss them out of hand.

 

2. You're not going to get me to defend threatening violence and making racially hateful statements. That should only be done in private.

 

3. And most important, nobody BECAME racist because of Scott Caan. The problem is when you reinforce institutionally recognizable racial stereotypes that are already there. It strikes a chord with people who felt as though they invited them into their homes, at least every Monday, and enjoyed having him as the face of the islands to the Mainland. They feel as though he bit the hand that feeds him. That resonates with a lot of people.  

I'm sure you can think of SOME Korean stereotype that doesn't fit you. But, you can think of another action that, if you performed, would have people saying "Oh, what a typical ____"  That's what happened here. He acted stereotypical, and got that response.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @LandsbergLawOops, I meant "Perhaps you would respond no because they are privileged, rich actors." in that first paragraph. Doesn't make sense the way I originally wrote it. ^_^

 

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

 @LandsbergLaw  I'm just curious why you and others are so quick to judge Caan's comments as racially significant? You bring up that he is a "priviliged rich Haole" and that he "portrayed every rich, thankless, Haole 'I can take from you what I want say abad things about the help and they won't talk back.'" You also refer to him as a WASP Haole stereotype. What if it had been an African-American actor or Asian-American actor who said what Caan said? Would that have been different? Perhaps you would respond yes because they are priviliged, rich actors. Then it's not really a racial issue but a financial one?

 

I never took Caan's comments as coming from a haole perspective but from the perspective a man who prefers his home lifestyle. It's a good number of the Hawaii residents who chose to make it a racial issue.

 

Again, I'm very thankful for your comments but would like a little more insight as to why people care about this one man's opinion so much to threaten violence and stereotype an entire group of haoles and make racially hateful statements.

 

Personally I couldn't care less what the man thought of Hawaii. I certainly don't need every visitor who comes here (rich, white, or whatever) to give my home a stamp of approval. If he had told Chelsea that he loves Hawaii, hey, join the millions of others who share that opinion. No big deal. The fact that he said he didn't like it here doesn't bother me at all and despite what I've read in your comments and others who share your opinion, I still don't see why it should.

 

Caan's comments mean nothing to me. I'm just fascinated by the reaction it triggered.

 

tituschong
tituschong

 @kailababez If you are referring to my original post, then I am definitely not defending anyone.  I was expressing how I personally might have handled being in that type of interview situation.  And after further research about the host, I would even decline to appear on that snarky lady's talk show, from the very beginning.

kailababez
kailababez

To suggest that Caan should have used dicretion before he spoke, i dont see anything so awful in what he did vs how much wrong i continue to see how easily offended overly sensitve people are in Hawaii. What he did is easily mendable but how the people of Hawaii reacted isnt. Its called racism, hateful and slandering. Do you think that equated to what Caan did. No, its the peope of Hawaii that needs to grow to where they wil no longer  see things the way they only see things which isnt even close to geting it ........but they still react in the most ignorant way. It doesnt make any difference other than name calling on the playground type of backlash. They need more than discretion. So yes you did see only one way or a one sided view on things, defending ignorance. Btw at least if anyone took a cheap shot at LA, you wouldnt see anyone getting their panties in a bind. Weigh the scales, something is wrong with people here in Hawaii.  And i didnt change for the better, change happens when we change within everything isnt what we thought it was when we grow or attain wisdom.  That's what people of Hawaii  will see once they change or grow actually. Nothing is corectly perceived by anyone here in Hawaii. So none of the reactions even made one bit of difference other than looking like hateful fools that is just too easy to beat. Fists only go so far, the mind will run laps around it soon enough. And if everyone used their discretions before speaking sheesh we wouldnt have humor!!            

tituschong
tituschong

 @kailababez It wasn't my intention to defend anyone.  I just stated that there are smart people, here, like Myong, who wrote this article.  Likewise, there are close-minded people in Los Angeles.  Perhaps you had the good fortune of not running into any, while you were there.  I'm glad, too, that you are happier, now.  Changing for the better is good!

kailababez
kailababez

The truth hurts thats how its affected anyone who whined about his comments. Stop defending ingnorance ,,,,,,everyone in Hawaii needs to stop defending their ignorant ways because that's all it is. There isnt any love or heart or the Aloha Spirit anymore. Hate, racism and prejudice have grown within each new generation like a weed 

No one wants to grow or even learn how to speak properly, we all believe we are perserving our unique island ways. Sheesh Ive never come across a more close minded people against growth than ours in Hawaii, No one realizes its just growing not changing anything good but enhancing it instead. People here need to change, grow and learn so it was about time someone slapped us around and finally opened up the doors to dicuss this!!! Who's open minded here in Hawaii? If that was the case then we wouldnt see, feel and think the way westill do about mainlanders or "hoales". Go up to a three year old and say "hoale", he r she will give you an ear load about em. Its lesson 101 before kids in Hawaii learn to say the alphabets. Open mindedness means room for improvement or suggestions, or even comments .....but say anything outide the box and you have everyone defending nonsense or ignorance. Did you hear what was being said on the radio shows? Nothing even made a difference because no one could process what was really going on other than "eh we go beat tda hoale guy up" sounded so stupid. Some of my family and all of my friends are from LA, LA people run laps around people here in Hawaii. They are nicer, loving and so so gracious more than the entire island combined. And everyone knows what's up in LA. If youre someone or have made something of youself, legit or non,,,,earning the respect of many, people know what's up. Whether youre big or little in size, regardless what you look like or whatever else, people in LA recognizes what someone is about based on respectability factors and so much more. Here in Hawaii, size, race and how good you can beef is what others base thier opinion on about you. But a  small guy with guns in his trunk and homeboys hat could wipe anyone out, locals here would F with em stupidly though. then the gentleman or woman who earned  his/her respect and credibitlty based on educating him/herself, speaks the proper English, articulates him/hersel in an mannerism of etiqutte or eloquence is deemed one "high maka maka asshole mainlander trying to act better than us locals" OMFG now do you see no one wants to grow let alone open or improvement or suggestions or comments in order to grow........ The truth hurts yet, if people were so open minded then locals would weigh the scales more than  making a fool out of themselves by bashing  a haole. Nothing else was said to Caan's comments other than that    Yeah they sure proved hin wrong. The truth hurts, that's how people were affected. But as always, locals are going to remain stuck in a rut with their ways. You say not everyone is the way i described, well if you dont be, act, think, and feel the same one way then youll be a "stupid mainlander" isnt that right? if im talking about just one type of person, then why is that everyone acts the same way and no one wants to go outside of that box? im glad im not trapped inside that box anymore and everything seems so much happier better and good. i changed thats what made everything better                            

tituschong
tituschong

 @Terrysagirl  @JJLee That's good to know.  I saw him eating pizza once, so I don't think he's that picky of an eater.

tituschong
tituschong

 @JJLee  I know Daniel Dae loves the food.  I used to see him eating at the various restaurants.  Yes, I'm sure everything will be fine by the time he returns to shoot. 

JJLee
JJLee

 @tituschong  @MyongChoi tituscohng, I know. It's a shame it didn't go a more positive route - from his mouth as well as others. But on a positive note, those who do love Hawaii do sing the praises - Daniel Dae Kim seems to, and at the very least the show has brought work to the islands. And that's a good thing. I hope when he returns to Hawaii to shoot the show, people will be a bit more forgiving and less angry.

tituschong
tituschong

 @MyongChoi  @JJLee It's a good point!  It's just too bad that one person forgot to stay nice, stay classy, and stay smart.  Had he done so, the reactions would have been much more positive, and people would have seen the awesome side of Hawaii!

Annoddah_Dave
Annoddah_Dave

 @WERUreo  @MyongChoi  @LadyBird808 Google "tantaran"  and seek out Lee Cataluna's article of June 29, 2001 in the Honolulu Advertiser archives.  She gives 3 possible origins but I think the Japanese one is probably the most credible.