@ChrisRock, #OscarsSoWhite, and Asian Jokes

Reviews have been mixed to negative on Chris Rock’s performance as host of the Oscar’s on Sunday night. And while there are a number of critiques that break down Rock’s performance well (see here), I want to give the spotlight to two articles in particular.

First, Grace Ji-Sun Kim — an associate professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion — over at Time magazine put out a quick piece highlighting the failure of Chris Rock to break out of the black-white binary. And in the process, perpetuate the same kind of tokenism and racism that so many black people are upset at hollywood about directing towards them.

In one skit, Rock brings out three Asian children (KIDS! CHILDREN! BABIES!) whom he refers to as his accountants (get it, because all Asian people are successful and good at math) — and then, kicks it up a notch by telling the crowd that if they had a problem with his jokes they should tweet about it on the phones that were also made by those kids (get it, because child labor is fucking hilarious). (more…)