Oscars host Chris Rock received generally positive reviews for his handling of the diversity issue, but some of his material backfired. In particular, The New York Times reports, a bit aimed at Asian Americans has drawn criticism.
“Introducing the accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which tabulates the vote results, Mr. Rock instead brought onstage two boys and a girl of Asian heritage, whom he named Ming Zu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz,” The Times reports. “As they clutched briefcases, they visually illustrated the stereotype that Asians are diligent workers who excel at math.” Rock added a punch line to the routine, saying: “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” with the Times noting that the line has been interpreted as a reference to child labor in Asia.
Among those responding negatively was “Fresh Off the Boat” actress Constance Wu, who tweeted: “To parade little kids on stage w/no speaking lines merely to be the butt of a racist joke is reductive & gross.”