Twenty-five members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who are of Asian descent — among them two-time best director Oscar winner Ang Lee — have sent a letter to the organization protesting “tasteless and offensive skits” about Asians that were part of the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, including one joke from host Chris Rock.
The jokes were made during a ceremony at which #oscarssowhite and the lack of African American acting nominees dominated Rock’s comedic material.
The jokes that have members of the Asian community most upset: a skit in which Rock introduced three Asian children as Academy accountants, and comments ad-libbed by presenter Sacha Baron Cohen that insinuated Asians have small genitalia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The letter was delivered to the Academy ahead of Tuesday’s monthly Board of Governors meeting. It was addressed specifically to Board of Governors president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, CEO Dawn Hudson and Oscar producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill. It references several articles that criticized the Academy’s jokes about Asians, and asks for “concrete steps” to “preclude such unconscious or outright bias and racism toward any group in future Oscars telecasts.”
The letter’s signatories are Oscar winners Lee (directors branch), Mock, Steven Okazaki, Ruby Yang, Jessica Yu (documentary branch) and Chris Tashima (shorts and feature animation branch); Oscar nominees Dong, Christine Choy, Rithy Panh and Renee Tajima-Pena (documentary branch); and Nancy Kwan, Peter Kwong, Jodi Long, France Nuyen, Sandra Oh, George Takei (actors branch), Yung Chang, (documentary branch), Marcus Hu, Teddy Zee (executives), Maysie Hoy, William Hoy (film editors branch), Janet Yang (producers branch), Laura Kim, David Magdael (public relations branch) and Hall (sound branch).
Magdael told The Hollywood Reporter, “When that skit came up in the middle of the Oscars, we all went like, ‘What?’ There was a collective, ‘That didn’t just happen.’ We found a lot of people who said, ‘We’re not going to accept this sort of joke anymore,’ especially right after Cheryl Boone Isaacs gave that speech about diversity.”
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1. Chris Rock1 of 21
2. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend2 of 21
3. Sylvester Stallone & His Wife3 of 21
4. Pharrell Williams4 of 21
5. Kerry Washington5 of 21
6. Rachel McAdams and Michael B. Jordan6 of 21
7. Mindy Kaling7 of 21
8. Andra Day8 of 21
9. The Weeknd9 of 21
10. Kevin Hart (R) with fiancee Eniko Parrish10 of 21
11. Common11 of 21
12. Lady Gaga12 of 21
13. Whoopi Goldberg13 of 21
14. Sofia Vergara14 of 21
15. Dorith Mous15 of 21
16. Robin Roberts16 of 21
17. Leonardo DiCaprio17 of 21
18. Brie Larson18 of 21
19. Charlize Theron19 of 21
20. Olivia Wilde20 of 21
21. Jennifer Lawrence21 of 21
(Photo Source: AP)