Joseph Patel, producer of the recent Oscar-winning “Summer of Soul,” is blasting Chris Rock for jokingly introducing him and his Best Documentary Feature co-winners as Questlove and “four white guys.”
Patel, who is Indian American, expressed outrage on his now-privated Twitter account Wednesday evening, explaining in a now-deleted thread, “The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award.”
“I was ecstatic that I was the 3RD South Asian to win that night – after Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia won earlier in the night for best live action short winner ‘The Long Goodbye,” Patel continued. “Three South Asians winning on the same night – that’s never happened before! And it’s meaningful! It’s history!”
Rock’s introduction was also a miscount, as Patel was one of the documentary’s three producers, other than Questlove, Robert Erlinghagen and David Dinerstein, to win.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
Patel said the “four white guys” jab was pre-planned and not made in duress after the infamous Will Smith slap. He claims that when Rock took the stage the night before, the comedian told those present he was going to make the joke because “I don’t give a f*ck.”
Patel, who was raised in the Bay Area and lives in Brooklyn, goes on to mention that the joke soured the rest of the ceremony for him.
“I got back home to New York last night and saw the ceremony on my DVR and didn’t have the stomach to watch it. I probably never will. Thank you, Chris – You absolute fucking dick,” Patel posted to Twitter.
And while clearly not a fan of Rock, Patel also wasn’t a fan of Smith slapping Rock, writing: “I think what Will did was selfish. It robbed the category of its moment. It robbed the other excellent and amazing films of their moment to be acknowledged in what was a STRONG year for docs. And it robbed Summer of Soul and our team of our moment. Of a loud, enthusiastic cheer for a celebrated film.”
The Twitter thread concludes with Patel remarking: “I never need a statue to tell me how nice I am – but it sure helps. And what both Will AND Chris did really stained what should have been a beautiful moment for us. Also it goes without saying I speak for me and me alone. Not Ahmir and not our coproducers.”
“Summer of Soul” is Questlove’s directorial debut about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It is currently streaming on Hulu.