This year’s Academy Awards host, comedian Chris Rock, may have trumpeted the #OscarsSoWhite theme during the ceremony, but he wasn’t without his own race-themed jokes that caused an uproar on Twitter from the Asian-American community.
Rock made the joke when he credited the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for accounting this year’s event:
“The results of tonight’s Academy Awards have been tabulated by the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. They sent us their most dedicated, accurate, and hard-working representatives. I want you to please welcome, Ming Tzu, Bao Ling, and David Moskowitz.”
Three Asian children, two boys and a girl, dressed in tuxedos and holding briefcases awkwardly joined Rock on stage.
Rock then continued:
“Yeah. It’s okay, it’s okay, thanks guys, thanks a lot. If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids.”
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While the joke gathered some laughs at the expense of the children, members of the Asian American community were shocked at Rock’s dry humor which was outlined by the fact that Asians are just another largely underrepresented ethnic group at the Oscars.
Some thought the joke was hilarious while many, including Asian Americans, immediately took to Twitter to voice their criticisms:
Rock wasn’t the only one to drag out Asian-stereotype jokes on stage. Sasha Baron Cohen, in character as Ali G, also joked in his character’s thick accent and raw humor as he was introducing the Best Picture Nominee “Room”:
“How come there’s no Oscar for them very hard-working little yellow people with tiny little dongs? You know, the Minions.”