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Oscars apologises for Asian jokes

Writer: Heidi Hsia


Academy Award-winning director, Ang Lee, was among the protesters.

17 Mar – Following protests from the Asian members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy has responded with an apology, according to Radio Times.

Part of the statement read, "It pains us that any aspect of the show was considered offensive, and [we] apologise for any hurt the skits caused". The apology was issued in regard to the jokes targeting Asians at the 88th Academy Awards held last month, where comedian Chris Rock introduced three Asian children as Academy accountants.

Meanwhile British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen insinuated that Asians have small genitalia in a comment he made as a presenter later on.

The offensive jokes have prompted 25 Asian members of the Academy, including two-time Academy Award winner Ang Lee, "Star Trek" actor George Takei and former member of the board of governors Arthur Dong, in relaying their feelings regarding the jokes.

In the letter that was directed to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson among the few, the members stated that they were surprised and disappointed over the jokes targeting Asians at the 88th Oscars telecast.

"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 read.

They expressed hope that the Academy as an organisation would respond to the matter and discuss the steps that it will take to ensure that everybody are portrayed with dignity and respect, as preached by Isaacs in her speech about diversity previously.

(Photo source: Epoch Times)

Cinema Online, 17 March 2016


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