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The 25 Asian Members Of Academy Of Motion Picture Arts Criticized Oscar Telecast Skits

Under fire for nominating an all-white slate of actors for two years in a row, the academy last month vowed to double the number of women and minority members by 2020. (Thinkstock).
(Thinkstock).

With 25 Asian members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences criticizing “tasteless and offensive skits” during the recent Oscar telecast, the Academy expressed regret today and said it will work to ensure the show is “culturally sensitive.”

The Academy members, including director Ang Lee and actors George Takei and Sandra Oh, signed a letter to the Academy’s Board of Governors criticizing the “tone-deaf approach to (the show’s) portrayal of Asians.”

Some Asians have been critical of a skit in which host Chris Rock brought three Asian children on stage and introduced them as the accountants who tabulated Oscar votes. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen also made some derogatory off-the-cuff remarks while presenting at the ceremony.

“We’d like to know how such tasteless and offensive skits could have happened and what process you have in place to preclude such unconscious or outright bias and racism toward any group in future Oscar telecasts,” according to the letter.

The letter noted that in light of the criticism of the Academy over its all-white slate of acting nominees, “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 Academy responded with a brief statement saying, “The Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive. We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive.”

 

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