Chris Rock tackled several controversial issues during his Oscar hosting gig on Sunday, but a joke about Asians has landed the comedian in hot water.
During the bit, Rock spoke about calculating all the votes by Academy members and that accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers had sent over some accountants to help.
“They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard-working representatives,” he said. “Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.”
Three young children of Asian descent then appeared onstage in suits carrying briefcases. “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” Rock said.
“To parade little kids on stage w/no speaking lines merely to be the butt of a racist joke is reductive & gross,” wrote Constance Wu, star of ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.” “Antithesis of progress.”
The jokes, coupled with another by presenter Sasha Baron Cohen as his Ali G character, drew immediate backlash online.
Read some of the reactions below.
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.
— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) February 29, 2016
- David Kwong (@davidkwong) February 29, 2016
- Olivia Ketron (@oketron16) February 29, 2016
That Chris Rock sliming of Asian and Jewish kids was not a joke. Just slime.
- Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) February 29, 2016
Umm, no @chrisrock. Using little Asian kids to joke about math stereotypes and child labor isn’t funny.
- Grace Hwang Lynch (@HapaMamaGrace) February 29, 2016
.@chrisrock complains about rich people and racism while writing jokes about Asian people while sitting his mansion. Makes sense.
- robert smith (@Robert26Smith) February 29, 2016
Thanks Chris Rock 4 proving diversity only means ur community while u make fun of Asian children on stage. Only ur community matters right?
- Victoria (@VictoriaCosplay) February 29, 2016
- Wilfred Chan (@wilfredchan) February 29, 2016
I’m seriously still stunned about that shitty joke with the Asian kids. #Oscars
- Angry Asian Man (@angryasianman) February 29, 2016
Enjoyed the Oscars yesterday. Chris Rock did a great job. Only mishap in my opinion was the Asian kid segment.
- Jason (@jsn_oo) February 29, 2016