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Academy offers weak apology for offensive Asian jokes at the Oscars

Twenty-five members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently sent a letter to the Academy's board of directors voicing their concerns with parts of the Oscars that perpetuated Asian stereotypes, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The jokes in question came during the middle of the night, when host Chris Rock brought three Asian children on stage and addressed them as the Academy's accountants. Presenter Sacha Baron Cohen also showed up as his character Ali G, and made a quip about "hard-working yellow people with tiny dongs." The people who signed the letter were all of Asian descent, including director Ang Lee and actors Sandra Oh and George Takei.

After receiving the letter, an Academy spokesperson gave a standard-issue apology through THR: "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."

Although Rock's Oscars monologue did address many of Hollywood's issues with diversity, his jokes about people of Asian descent muddied his general theme of inclusion. According to THR, the letter asks the Academy to take "concrete steps" to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.