Chris Rock’s Oscar Joke Receives Inevitable Backlash | Film News
There was a lot of expectations for Chris Rock who was hosting this year’s Academy Awards. Amid the tensions stirred by his comments regarding the diversity issue of the nominees, everyone was sure that he would have direct jabs about it during the actual ceremony.
Which he accomplished and, in some sense, actually succeeded in adding comedy and satire. However there was one joke that really, really did not sit well with the audience, sparking outrage within social media.
The bit actually started off by Rock introducing the supposed accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers, which apparently are the ones responsible for tallying the votes. However, rather than presenting actual representatives, the comedian brought out three children of Asian descent of whom he referred to as Ming Zu, Bao Ling, and David Moskowitz.
Clearly recognizing the profound effect and possible fallout of his joke, he further commented by saying “If anybody is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids”. Though there is some recognizable value towards his joke, it was still delivered in bad taste.
In terms of recognizing the diversity issue in Hollywood, it is no secret that actors of Asian descent are severely under-represented in the media as well. Especially in the case of the Academy Awards, only a select few have ever been nominated, let alone won an award. Perhaps the only notable example in this case is Hayao Miyazaki, who received an Honorary Oscar for his work with Studio Ghibli.
However the negative aspects of his joke are glaringly terrible, especially with the stereotype he uses throughout. But perhaps the worst offender is the use of children to promote the punchline, which was intended to take a jab at child labour problems in Asia. If its purpose was to highlight this issue, then it MAY have been acceptable during a more appropriate event; but it surely did not fit into such a big celebratory ceremony like the Oscars.
Many twitter shared mixed reactions to the joke, with many Asian-Americans jesting at the fact that Asians are finally represented at the Oscars. Some notable figures however were less than impressed, such as influential youtubers like Jen Chae and fellow comedian Steve Byrne.
How unnecessary to make fun of Asians on the #Oscars when Hollywood isn't even evolved enough to give Asians Asian-specific roles yet.
— Jen Chae (@frmheadtotoe) February 29, 2016
— Steve Byrne (@stevebyrnelive) February 29, 2016
In spite of the blatant hypocrisy present here, at least we’re all glad Leo finally won an Oscar right?
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