#OscarsSoWhite fallout continues as Academy apologises for "tone-deaf" portrayal of Asians

Academy responds to letter sent by 25 of its members of Asian descent, including Ang Lee and George Takei.

Ang Lee
Ang Lee

The organisers of the Oscars have apologised for the portrayal of Asians at this year’s Academy Awards after several prominent members of Asian descent signed a letter condemning it.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, an Academy spokesperson said: "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 apology followed the Academy’s receiving a letter signed by 25 members, including double Oscar-winning director Ang Lee and former Star Trek star George Takei, expressing their anger at some of the skits at the Oscars ceremony, labelling them "tasteless and offensive".

The skits in question are when host Chris Rock introduced three Asian children as Academy accountants, and when Sascha Baren Cohen made an insinuation about the size of Asian genitalia.

"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," the letter reads. 

"Instead, the Oscars show was marred by a tone-deaf approach to its portrayal of Asians."

The letter continues: "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."

In total, 10 Academy Award winners and nominees signed the letter. Signatories include Steven Okazaki, Sandra Oh and France Nuyen.

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