OPINION: In Hawaii, It Doesn’t Pay to be Caandid

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Editor’s note: Scott Caan, of “Hawaii 5-0” fame, recently made controversial remarks about Hawaii in a TV interview. If you’re not caught up on the kerfuffle, catch the interview here.

Poor Scotty Caan.

By now you should have noticed. You’re not in Malibu anymore, little buddy.

Unlike the denizens of Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, or Southern California in general, people here actually give a damn when you make fun of them.

Maybe a little thigh-slapping, cross-cultural satire is OK (provided you’re not haole, but that’s a different topic altogether.) The point is, any jokes at the expense of fellow islanders are supposed to stay within territorial waters.


Once you set sail in the direction of the lower 48, you’re expected to root for the home team. Even if this is your temporary home.

Take a cue from other celebrities that have been momentarily stranded on these sun-kissed rocks: grin and bear it until your penance is over, or your fellow prisoners will start to resent you.

Let’s be honest for a moment though. Even people from Hawaii that “make it big” typically don’t stay here. If these islands really were the greatest place on earth, then homegrown folks like Tia Carrere and oh say, Barack Obama would still be permanent residents.

But they know the rules, for they are simple. Smile for the cameras, flash the occasional “Shaka” and you’ll be loved.

Like Scott Caan, Chelsea Handler isn't likely to earn many fans here in the near future.

Like Scott Caan, Chelsea Handler isn’t likely to earn many fans here in the near future.


While Caan certainly stepped in it during his recent interview with Chelsea Handler, Handler’s own description of the islands was even more over-the-top, describing them as havens for meth users. It’s an odd complaint coming from a resident of Los Angeles.

Handler herself is at best an alleged comedian, famously landing her own late-night talk show on “E!” after dating the head of the network.

Within hours of the interview airing, message boards in the islands lit up with screams of “go home, haole!” Although the interview lasted less than five minutes, the ensuing chaos went on for days, with Caan eventually issuing a public apology.

In the end though, the joke is really on anyone here who actually took offense at this whole thing.


Much was made over Caan’s comment that the food here “sucks.” Given that the cuisine of an entire country like England is flogged on a regular basis without its residents so much as raising an eyebrow, maybe it’s time we admitted the obvious.

Our food may not suck, but we sure as hell are sensitive.

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