Given all the hoopla the Oscars went through when it came to #OscarsSoWhite and airing their grievances – even boycotting the awards show – because of the lack of diversity and stereotypes portrayed on the big screen, they seemed to have overlooked the ummm…big picture (no pun intended) on Sunday night when comedian and Oscars host Chris Rock did the same exact thing he and others have accused Hollywood of doing.
Rock is receiving some backlash when he introduced a “skit” involving three young children – pretending to be “accountants” from PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Two adorable little Asian boys and a girl, whom he named Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz, dressed as young professionals, carrying briefcases and wearing glasses – clearly paraded onstage because of course Asians are supposed to be great at math – right? But Rock didn’t stop there, “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” a reference to child labor in Asia.
If Rock wanted to make a statement about stereotypes or the lack of diversity in Hollywood, he certainly didn’t extend that statement to include Asians that represent only 1% of Oscar nominations – not to mention Hispanics who are also marginalized and stereotyped.
Almost immediately, this new Oscar controversy hit social media, many denouncing Rock and his comments. Fresh Off the Boat actress Constance Wu tweeted, “To parade little kids on stage w/no speaking lines merely to be the butt of a racist joke is reductive & gross.”
Hawaii Five-O actor Daniel Dae Kim tweeted that the first time any other ethnicity other than black was referenced, took 30 minutes, when “someone mentions ‘pho.’ I thought #diversity was more than that.”
Pro basketball phenom Jeremy Lin tweeted on Tuesday, “Seriously though, when is this going to change?!? Tired of it being ‘cool’ and ‘ok’ to bash Asians smh #Oscars.”
With so much controversy about race prior to the Oscars, the only takeaway after the hyped up awards show is the realization that it should’ve never been just a black and white issue. Hollywood hypocrisy at its finest.