In that bit, Rock introduced bankers from PricewaterhouseCoopers. As he put it, "They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard working representatives. Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling, and David Moskowitz."
Onto the stage walked three Asian children. Rock knew the joke might touch a nerve, so he doubled-down on it, saying, "If anybody's upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids."
He wasn't afraid to push buttons all night, which is a good thing, but some viewers thought he set the conversation back a few years with this bit.
Here are some of the reactions on Twitter.
Think my brain shut down for a few minutes. Did that appalling joke about Asian kids actually happen? #Oscars— Justin Chang (@JustinCChang) February 29, 2016
They played off Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy talking about honor killings but they gave Chris Rock 45 seconds for that bit??— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) February 29, 2016
Umm, no @chrisrock. Using little Asian kids to joke about math stereotypes and child labor isn't funny.— Grace Hwang Lynch (@HapaMamaGrace) February 29, 2016
So basically all you Asian kids aspiring to be actors yet saw no Asians nominated, don't worry, you can be an accountant. #Oscars— Alia Joy (@AliaJoyH) February 29, 2016
As usual, there was no consensus on the matter, and the outcome is that people are debating race across the Internet, which was the main point of the whole evening. That and Leo winning.
good thing Hollywood gives us so many non-racist Asian characters to counter this sort of shit right?— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) February 29, 2016
oh, wait... https://t.co/ScvuSM9Bk6
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