The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has officially apologised for the Asian jokes at this year’s Oscar ceremony, after receiving a letter of protest signed by 25 AMPAS members, including Ang Lee and George Takei.
An Academy spokesperson issued the statement: “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.”
The original protest letter called for “concrete steps” to be made to ensure that future Oscar hosts will avoid the “tone-deaf approach” to Asians that was exhibited in the Feb. 28 ceremony.
The full 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.”
Chris Rock who hosted the 88th Annual Academy Awards had been criticised for the asian jokes he made and as a result may not be asked to return as host again.