By Ed Diokno
Asians were finally mentioned on the Oscars show last night, but not in the way I expected.
Host Chris Rock and the writers apparently see the world in Black and White.
In show dominated by talk about diversity – or the lack of it – there was hardly any mention of Latinos or Asians. Only because the movie Revenant was nominated for Best Picture did Native Americans get mentioned.
But we cringed when Rock (or the writers) introduced the accountants from Price Waterhouse. Out came three Asian youngsters, perhaps 5-8 years old, thus playing up the stereotypes of child exploitation and math proficiency.
The celebrity-filled audience, perhaps a little sensitive because of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, laughed nervously.
Stupid joke about Asian kids and child labor. That's the Asian American representation on the #Oscars?
— AsianAmericanLegal (@aaldef) 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
Think my brain shut down for a few minutes. Did that appalling joke about Asian kids actually happen? #Oscars
— Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) February 29, 2016
Pakistani Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won an Oscar for her short documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. The film examines the case of an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who survived a brutal attack by her father and uncle bent on an “honour killing.” Human rights groups estimate that about 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year for “bringng shame” to their families. It was her second Oscar.
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
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