Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Academy Renders Apology for Chris Rock Joke at Oscars.

The host of the 2016 Academy awards, Chris Rock went too far with his jokes about Asian by bringing on stage Asian children as an imitation of Price Waterhouse Coopers accountants. In the sketch in question, Rock brought three Asian children onstage in tuxedos, wielding briefcase, a nod to the always-awkward moment in telecasts past when the accountants were thanked for their ballot-tallying skills. Rock, who had skewered Hollywood for its lack of attention to people of colour earlier in the show, seemed to intend the presence of the Asian kids as the joke, playing off the tired stereotype of Asians being good at math.
Then he took it a step further by saying “If anyone is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phones, also made by these kids.” This angered some of the prominent Asian Actors that proceeded to write and demand the Academy look into it.
He also got a very quick backlash on social media as many did felt offended by the joke. However, the orgainsation didn’t respond as swiftly as they did when same happened during the nomination.
However, an apology was rendered in a statement released yesterday “The Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive.”
 “We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive.”
Also, Chris Rock directly criticized the Oscars for their lack of diversity during the Academy Awards broadcast on 28 of February; and pointed out yet another blind spot for Hollywood and race.  
The point of argument again was the long duration it took for the organisation to issue the apology. They waited weeks after the Oscar, which prompted two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee joined by a group of 25 Academy members of Asian descent in writing a letter protesting the joke.
They wrote “In light of criticism over #OscarsSoWhite, we were hopeful that the telecast would provide the Academy a way forward and the chance to present a spectacular example of inclusion and diversity. Instead, the Oscars show was marred by a tone-deaf approach to its portrayal of Asians.”
The letter continued, “We’d like to know how such tasteless and offensive skits could have happened and what process you have in place to preclude such unconscious or outright bias and racism toward any group in future Oscars telecasts.”
The eagerness of the Academy to leave behind the huge controversies that surrounded this year’s Award like most people probably caused the delayed response, especially in making sure no more dust is raised. But the Asians weren’t ready to allow sleeping dogs lie until they got their apology. Hopefully this will be the last controversial incident we will get to hear or write about.


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