Oscars 2016: Chris Rock Criticized for Asian Joke
Chris Rock has been widely criticized for a joke he made while hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony, at the expense of Asian-Americans.
Activists accused the comedian of perpetuating racial stereotypes when he introduced a group of accountants, who turned out to be three Asian children in suits.
Chris Rock has been generally praised for the way he dealt with the absence of black artists among Oscar nominees.
The 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony had been boycotted by some Hollywood figures.
All 20 nominees in the best acting or supporting acting categories were white.
Chris Rock had addressed the controversy during his hosting of February 28 Academy Awards ceremony, commenting that he had “counted at least 15 black people” in the montage that opened the ceremony, before welcoming people to the “white People’s Choice awards”.
The skit involving the three children was an apparent reference to Asians being good at maths. One of the children was also given a Jewish surname.
Chris Rock then said: “If anybody is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids.”
Critics say the punch line was another stereotype, about child labor in Asia.
Chris Rock’s publicist Leslie Sloane said on February 29 that the star was unavailable for comment.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also did not comment.