OSCARS - Chris Rock's Asian Joke ignites Backlash

Posted by AC Team

April 21, 2016

Saturday, April 23
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Avenue


Since the slights against Asians at the Oscars, producers, directors and actors have mobilized to find solutions – and the Academy is listening. Asia Society Southern California and Visual Communications are presenting a town hall discussion at the C3 Conference during the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. 

Speakers include:

George Takei, a path-breaking actor and prominent advocate for inclusiveness
Janet Yang and Arthur Dong, two of the Academy members who helped spearhead the letter campaign and are in current talks with Academy leaders
Daniel Mayeda, Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition
Emerlynn Lampitoc, Manager, Creative Talent Development & Inclusion, Disney
Kiko Washington, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Marc Bernardin, Film Editor, Los Angeles Times
Phil Yu (Moderator) | Angry Asian Man

The town hall discussion is sponsored by IW Group.


March 18, 2016

PRI's The World reporter Ada Tseng writes that It wasn't until the protest letter signed by 25 members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences became public that AMPAS' CEO Dawn Hudson issued a swift apology. And it wasn't until George Takei called AMPAS's apology "patronizing" and "a bland, corporate response" that Hudson scheduled a future meeting with the 25 members to show them that the Academy leaders were serious about these issues.

Tseng writes, that it was filmmaker Freida Lee Mock who wrote the first draft of the protest letter. Documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong and Hollywood public relations executive David Magdael were also penning letters, but joined with others on Mock's letter.



PRI's The World story by Ada Tseng:




March 15, 2016

Ang LeeAng Lee, DirectorA protest letter signed by 25 AMPAS members delivered to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences about the "tasteless and offensive" Asian jokes by host Chris Rock at the February 28 Oscar telecast has received an apology from AMPAS. 

The letter said, “We are writing as Academy members of Asian descent to express our complete surprise and disappointment with the targeting of Asians at the 88th Oscars telecast and its perpetuation of racist stereotypes." 

"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." 

“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 Oscars telecasts." 

"We look forward to hearing from you about this matter and about the concrete steps to ensure that all people are portrayed with dignity and respect." 

“We are proud that the Oscars reach several hundred million people around the world of whom 60% are Asians and potential moviegoers.”

Oscar winners who signed the letter include, Ang Lee (director, producer, screenwriter), Chris Tashima (shorts and feature animation) and four members of the documentary branch: Ruby Yang, Steven Okazaki, Jessica Yu and Freida Lee Mock.

Two other former governors signed, Don Hall (sound branch) and Arthur Dong (documentaries), and three Oscar nominees: Documentarians Christine Choy, Renee Tajima-Pena and Rithy Panh. 

Other signers were Yung Chang, documentary; Maysie Hoy and William Hoy, editors; Marcus Hu and Teddy Zee, executives; Janet Yang, producers; David Magdael and Laura Kim, PR; and six members of the actors branch: Nancy Kwan, Peter Kwong, Jodi Long, France Nuyen, Sandra Oh and George Takei.

Los Angeles Times
The Hollywood Reporter

March 10 2016

Japanese actress, model and star of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Tao Okamoto sat down on March 7 with Huffington Post Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani  (@CaroMT) to discuss her role, and on being an Asian actor in Hollywood.

TAO OKAMOTO ON HUFFINGTON POST LIVE 2016-03-07"We are the minority of the minorities," said Tao, who plays the role of Mercy Graves in the upcoming 'Batman v Superman' movie.

In 2013, Tao made her film debut as Mariko Yashida, the female lead in 'The Wolverine' opposite Hugh Jackman.

"We should have more variety of people who writes the scripts to begin with so they have their own story growing up in their own culture...We should be the creators rather than being hired." Click here to the full interview 

February 29, 2016

CNN - CHRIS ROCK CRITICIZED AFTER ASIAN JOKE AT OSCARS 2016With few Academy Award nominations this year for Asian Americans in front of or behind the scenes in Hollywood, it was one more blow below the belt to see little Asian kids ushered on stage to take the brunt of a stereotypical joke about Asian people. 

Jeremy Lin slams Chris Rock's Asian joke at the Oscars: 'When is this going to change?!?' “Seriously though, when is this going to change?!? Tired of it being ‘cool’ and ‘ok’ to bash Asians smh,” he tweeted to his 1.52 million followers.

“Glee” star Harry Shum Jr., tweeted, “Lazy, uncreative joke after a brilliant monologue@chrisrock  #DiversityMyAss.”

“To parade little kids on stage w/no speaking lines merely to be the butt of a racist joke is reductive & gross. Antithesis of progress,” wrote Constance Wu, star of ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Jen Yamato, entertainment reporter for The Daily Beast (@TheDailyBeast) writes on her personal Twitter blog (@jenyamato), "The most diverse Oscars ever"? Quite the opposite. Binary "diversity." Dismissive, apologist jokes that diminished legit concerns. Bravo.

Click below to CNN's Amara Walker conversation about the Asian joke by Chris Rock with Anthony Berteaux, SDSU Campus Editor at Large, Huffington Post.

Walker cites Annenberg School of Journalism's study revealing that 78% of leading roles in Hollywood go to Whites, 14.3% go to African Americans, 3.4% go to "Others," 2.7% go to Latinos, and only 1.3% go to Asians.


New York Times Chris Rock's Asian Joke at Oscars Provokes Backlash

The Washington Post Jeremy Lin slams Chris Rock's Asian joke at Oscars: 'When is this going to change?'

Angry Asian Man On Hollywood's biggest Night, Asians are the Joke, As Usual.

Few Asian Americans Honored with Oscar Nominations - Chris Rock Hosts the Oscars

CNN's Amara Walker's conversation about the Asian joke by Chris Rock with Anthony Berteaux, SDSU Campus Editor at Large, Huffington Post

SFGate.com Asians not spared by Chris Rock at Oscars by Mariecar Mendoza