Actress Tamlyn Tomita actually read the now infamous NI’IHAU project script, which was given to her by the producers, in probably the hopes of stoking her interest to be a part of this project. Well, in a Facebook post from fellow Japanese American actress Keiko Agena (GILMORE GIRLS), she shares an email that Tomita had sent to the producers after reading the script back in February (most likely re-posted with Tomita’s permission). Let’s just say the KARATE KID PART II actress doesn’t hold any punches with the script being the proverbial “punching bag.” Here’s the Facebook post, embedded, and the entire post pasted below:

In regards to the film, “Ni’ihau” – following is an email expressing my thoughts upon reading it in february – I cannot post the script, but the references to the story are important. This continued practice of ‘white-washing’ characters and fictionalizing history is not only total bullshit, but further perpetuates the idea that only white people can play the heroes.

Tamlyn Tomita

Feb 7

to Rebecca, Nancy

heyllo rebecca

i appreciate you setting this up, but this script is a piece of shit and i am not mincing words…

my thoughts?
– the writer/director has absolutely done no research whatsoever in writing about native hawaiians and japanese-americans in hawaii pre-1941 – has he ever been to hawaii? has he heard how hawaiians speak?
the dialogue is atrocious in tone, setting, and authenticity – hey!
‘eastenders’ guy – write what you know and stick with it

– he has the gall to name 2 minor characters after 2 of the most cherished entertainers from hawaii – you know the hawaiian rendition of ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ accompanied by ukulele? that’s izzy ka’ano’i (sic name of the album by the late Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole), the other is named ke’ali’i reichel, you think no one who appreciates hawaiian music is going to notice that?

– the absolute WTF casting Benehakaka Kanahele with Zach Mcgowan – hey! brit-twit! ever hear of ‘white-washing’?

– a fictionalized account of a true incident and he has the audacity of tagging the film with the statement that it’s often cited as the reason for bringing about the japanese-american internment camps – if he had dug a little deeper, the truth is, america’s concentration camps came about because of “wartime hysteria, racial prejudice, and a failure of political leadership” – how dare he be a proponent of michelle malkin’s sub-par research to lend his film a fart of credibility – what? he read the daily kos article and says, hey! what an idea for a movie!


– as to why yoshio harada and irene harada did what they did – this writer/director has no imagination as to the inner conflicts of dual heritages, identities, and allegiances and what the stakes are in making such a choice – “we’re gonna be at war, so let’s side with the people whom we look like!”
so, yeah, sorry, there is no way i am going in for this…
my apologies for venting, but it all just came tumbling out….


Nextshark has a great roundup of this Facebook post, which aside from being posted by Keiko Agena, but also comedienne and activist Jenny Yang.