Thursday 18th January 2018,

Asian Americans

Ξ 4 comments

Asians insulted; Chris Rock went one joke too many at the Oscars telecast

posted by Randall
Chris Rock's Asian kids at the Oscars

Chris Rock’s Asian joke fell flat

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.

Yeah, I know, Chris Rock loves to make people uncomfortable and maybe I’m making too much out of nothing. I still cringed.

“If anyone is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” said Rock.


And Tweet, they did:





Rock’s opening monologue was hit and miss but he made his point about the lack of African American nominees and opportunities.  Is Hollywood racist, he asks. Hell, yeah, but it is not “burning-cross racist,” but it was “sorority racist. It’s like: ‘We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa!’”
Tiegen, Chrissy Teigen reacts at Oscars

The camera obviously
loves Chrissy Teigan,
absolutely glowing from
her pregnancy. The
camera kept panning
over to her and hubby
John Legend. After
another joke that
fell flat, the camera
caught her reaction.

The most effective bit was when he visited a theater in Compton and asked the moviegoers what they thought about the Oscar’s Best Picture nominees. They hadn’t even heard of them; illustrating the disconnect between the Hollywood movie makers and the real-people movie audience. Hopefully that opened some eyes of the executives at the major studios.


Oscar Notes:


Where was Ronnie Del Carmen? When Pixar’s Inside Out won the Best Animated Feature, I was hoping Filipino Ameircan Carmen, who co-directed the movie with Pete Doctor, would stride up to the stage to receive an Oscar. Doctor accepted the award and there was no mention of del Carmen among the ‘Thank you’s” even though he helped write the story line.

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.)
(AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at, following us on Twitter and sharing our stories.)

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  1. Pandora MacLean-Hoover says:

    RE: Asians insulted: Chris rock went one joke too many at Oscar’s telecast: What about Louis CK’s long and repetitive introduction of the category and nominees for Short Films? Sharmeen noticeably shunned him, as well she should, for his insulting remarks. She did well to deliver her acceptance speech with dignity and honor.

    Thank you for your article. It said some things that needed saying.

  2. S says:

    What Is He Thinking???? OMG!

  3. rizzay says:

    The more I think about this,and the more I read about the Oscars, I’m convinced that this gag was manufactured by the racial power apparatus at the academy. I think a lot of his monologue didn’t make it pass any authoritative body. A lot of his social critique was too grim to have been moderated. My guess is that he told them one thing and went out there and said another.Especially since the kids were just props, that let me know the academy expended resources and was involved in that joke. Maybe it’s to delegitimize Rock’s critique. It was straight up not funny. Also, most people of color don’t acknowledge or even know about the model minority mythology (Asian’s good at math/science/engineering) . This myth was manufactured solely by (racist) whites and white supremacy. I grew up listening to Rock’s work and that joke (and DEFINITELY the Stacy Dash joke) were flat out too corny to have been written by Rock. They reek of white-washed, essentializing, humor.

  4. Vincent says:

    RE: Asians insulted; Chris Rock went one joke too many at the Oscars telecast: This is Disgusting. Both Oscars and Chris Rock need to be responsible for this.

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