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Chris Rock’s Asian Joke at Oscars 2016 Didn’t Go Over Very Well on Twitter

Chris Rock made it a point to tackle the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head-on as the host for 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28, but the comedian took a major misstep when he cracked a joke about Asians halfway through the ceremony.

Chris Rock
Chris Rock on stage during the 88th annual Academy Awards. Image Group LA/ABC

Under the pretense of bringing out the “PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants” responsible for the Oscars vote, Rock instead welcomed three young Asian kids — two boys and a girl — to wordlessly join him onstage. One boy wandered around for a bit, unable to find his mark (shout out to Katy Perry’s Super Bowl left shark, anyone?).

Chris Rock and PricewaterhouseCoopers
Rock and children represent accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers on stage during the 88th annual Academy Awards. Adam Taylor/ABC

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The audience laughed as the three kids, who wore tuxes and bow ties and held tiny briefcases, stood by Rock, 51, as he then followed his racist joke with a quip about child labor.

Children represent accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers on stage during the 88th annual Academy Awards. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

“And if anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids,” he said.

Oscar viewers at home weren’t quite so amused by Rock’s off-color remarks, and quickly took to social media to share their thoughts.


Later on in the evening, Sacha Baron Cohen (in character as Ali G) made another jab at Asians while presenting the Best Picture nominee Room alongside Olivia Wilde.

“How come there’s no Oscar for them very hard-working little yellow people with tiny little dongs?” he asked in his typical no-holds-barred manner. “You know, the Minions.”

Rock and Cohen’s remarks come hot on the heels of a touchy awards show season colored by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. While Rock made sure to address the exclusion of black nominees at this year’s awards (he created a hilarious faux movie montage subbing black actors into the Best Picture nominees), his joke at the expense of Asians showed there’s still a long way to go in Hollywood’s road to diversity.

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