Washington, D.C. (Feb. 29, 2016) — During Sunday night’s Academy Awards show, host Chris Rock introduced “accountants” from the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers with stereotypical Asian and Jewish names and then brought on stage three young Asian children.
Rock continued by saying that those who are offended by the joke “can tweet about it on [their] phone that was also made by these kids.” Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, released the following statement:
“It is not right to protest the exclusion of one group by making jokes at the expense of another. I am so disappointed that the Academy and ABC would rely on such offensive characterizations, especially given the controversy over the lack of diversity. While much attention was paid to the way African Americans have been ignored by Hollywood, true diversity must include other minorities as well. It is outrageous that the only role that Asian Americans had at last night’s Oscars was to appear as the butt of a joke. Young children stood up on stage as the audience was made to laugh at Asian and Jewish names. Reinforcing stereotypes of Asians as good at math or child laborers runs counter to multicultural understanding and inclusion. It’s time for Hollywood to see Asians as more than just punchlines.”