Asian Oscar winners are not too happy with the 2016 Academy Awards.In the long and laborious fight against racial inequalities in the entertainment industry, Asian groups often get left out of the conversation. A new report from Variety notes a letter penned by Ang Lee and a host of other Asian Oscar winners from the documentary, short-form and technical branches expressing frustration with the "racist stereotypes" on display in the Oscar telecast from two weeks ago and demand for the Academy to be more respectful moving forward. The letter carefully asserted the signees' disappointment with the organization:
“We are writing as Academy members of Asian descent to express our complete surprise and disappointment with the targeting of Asians at the 88th Oscars telecast and its perpetuation of racist stereotypes. 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. Instead, the Oscars show was marred by a tone-deaf approach to its portrayal of Asians.
“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. We look forward to hearing from you about this matter and about the concrete steps to ensure that all people are portrayed with dignity and respect.”Though the letter does not make specific references, readers can assume the signees are referring to a bit from Chris Rock in which he introduced the Oscar accountants charged with adding up the votes, only for little kids to walk out, playing into stereotypes about Asian kids being super mathematicians. It's particularly surprising that the Academy would use such low level jokes during a ceremony centering around diversity and including, following all the embarrassment over the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. I guess it's just another mistake in a long history for the organization that is frequently labeled as just another racist institution.