Art and Experience: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for jokes that host Chris Rock made about Asians while hosting the ceremony.

Prompted by a letter signed by more than 20 academy members of Asian descent, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized for offensive jokes about Asians during the awards ceremony.

“Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns about our 88th Oscar show, which are valid. We appreciate your perspective and take your points very seriously. It certainly was never the Academy’s intent to offend anyone,” the letter read, in part.

Lee, from Taiwan, joined a number of signees, including actors Sandra Oh (Canadian, of Korean descent) and George Takei (American, of Japanese descent), in criticising AMPAS for including in this year’s Oscar show jokes based on racial stereotyping. In the later stages of the broadcast, host Chris Rock introduced “the accountants” who had tabulated the Oscars results. They were three children of east Asian descent called “Ming Zhu, Bao Ling, and David Moskowitz”. “If anyone is upset about that joke you can tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids,” he said.

“We are writing as Academy members of Asian descent to express our complete surprise and disappointment with the targeting of Asians at the 88th Oscarstelecast and its perpetuation of racist stereotypes,” said the protesters in their letter, which was addressed to AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, CEO Dawn Hudson, and ceremony producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill.

“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 mention that AMPAS has to hold more responsibility of promoting diversity and inclusion of the minorities as 60% of the world population are Asians, according to the International Energy Agency. Yet, it is estimated that Asians currently only represent less than 1% of the Academy.

Tags: