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Asian Girl in Oscars “Joke” Didn’t Know What the Joke Was Until It Was Too Late

Seriously, look at that girl's face. She KNOWS.

oscars asian jokes

We’ve already expressed disappointment about the Asian jokes that tarnished this year’s Oscar ceremony. However, we learned today that there’s even more reason to be disappointed. *sigh*

According to Vulture, neither the children used in Chris Rock’s PricewaterhouseCoopers “joke” nor their parents knew the nature of the joke the children would be a part of before they had already signed a contract to participate.

In an interview with Public Radio International Laura Kung, the mother of one of the children, eight-year-old Estie Kung, talked about how they found out:

[I]t wasn’t until the rehearsals, after Estie got her tux fitted and was already looking forward to the opportunity to be on the Oscars, that her parents heard the entirety of the joke for the first time. But they had already signed the contract and had to confront the very likely possibility that their daughter would be part of a racist joke that would cause an uproar. After talking to Estie, they ultimately decided to take the optimistic point of view, believing that an inappropriate Asian joke that might provoke a difficult public conversation may be preferable if the status-quo alternative was to have no Asian presence at all. So, they braced themselves.

When speaking with Vulture, Ms. Kung said that, at first, she imagined there must be more to the joke:

I did wonder, ‘Why all Asians?’ But I assumed there was a bigger picture, a more complex joke given all the emphasis placed on diversity at the Oscars this year.

It’s hard seeing pictures of your daughter’s very serious face on stage associated with all of this. It’s definitely been a damper to all the joy she felt just being there.

So this girl, who was all excited to be at the Oscars had to find out that she would have to be a part of something not only racist, but racist against her own community. Great thing to experience when you’re eight, huh? I hope that Mr. Rock, who himself has daughters, sees this and understands the damage jokes like this can do. Because I’m SURE he would never let his kids be a part of something derogatory toward black people on a worldwide broadcast.

It shouldn’t be “every minority group for themselves!” We should be helping each other. We’re all fighting the same thing.

(image via screencap)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.