Academy Apologizes for Jokes About Asians During Oscars, Pledges to Try to ‘Be More Culturally Sensitive’

Children represent accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are apologizing for derogatory jokes made about Asians at the 88th annual Oscars ceremony held last month. After prominent Academy members — including George Takei, Sandra Oh and Ang Lee — penned a letter to express their disappointment, the organization issued an apology on Tuesday, March 15.

One of the skits involved host Chris Rock bringing out three Asian children dressed as accountants and making wisecracks about child labor. Presenter Sacha Baron Cohen also quipped on stage: "How come there's no Oscar for them very hard-working, little yellow people with tiny dongs? You know, the Minions."

“The Academy appreciates the concerns stated, and regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive,” the group’s statement said. “We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future shows be more culturally sensitive.”

Takei, 78, who signed the complaint letter addressed to Oscars president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, CEO Dawn Hudson and Oscar producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill, told the Hollywood Reporter that the skit was “shameful” and that he was appalled.

"I was astounded at the obliviousness and the ignorance of the Academy,” the Star Trek actor told THR, adding that it was “a disastrous oversight on their part.”

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