Asians were definitely not well-represented at the Oscars, with Dev Patel being the sole Asian nominee in an acting category (Best Actor in a Supporting Role).
Patel was not only the sole Asian actor nominated this year, but also the sole non-Black acting nominee of color. Patel ended up getting beat out by Mahershala Ali for his role in “Moonlight.” Ali, who is Black, is the first Muslim to win an Oscar.
“Moonlight,” a predominantly Black film, also picked up the Best Picture award.
The lack of Asian and Asian American nominees has not created nearly as much uproar as when the academy has snubbed Black actors.
During one bit of the Feb. 26 show, late night personality Jimmy Kimmel welcomed a group of unsuspecting tourists who thought they were at just another stop. Instead, they found themselves smack in the middle of Oscar proceedings and rubbing elbows with Jennifer Aniston and Ryan Gosling.
But the Oscar host is also getting some blowback for mocking the name of an Asian woman who was among those tourists.
When Kimmel asked for her name, she told him it was Yulree, which rhymes with “jewelry.” Kimmel responded, “Your name is Yulree? I know it rhymes with jewelry! That’s some name!” Then, he asked her husband what his name was, to which he responded, “Patrick.” Kimmel said, “See, THAT’s a name.”
Some people on Twitter took offense and also threw Mahershala Ali’s name into the mix, which Kimmel mentioned a few times throughout the night. “It’s not the #Oscars unless they make fun of Asians somehow. This time, it’s Yulree’s name. Not really laughing,” wrote one user.
Another user tweeted, “Names like Mahershala and Yulree confuse @jimmykimmel. He prefers a real name like Patrick. And I thought the #Oscars weren’t racist anymore.”
Last year’s Oscar host Chris Rock brought out Asian American children to the stage to be the butt of his joke about Asians being good at math.
Jackie Chan was at the Oscars since he received an honorary Oscar in November — it’s a lifetime achievement award that recognized his work in more than 200 movies during his 56-year career. Still, some Twitter users wondered why he was seated so far back.
“The #Oscars put Jackie Chan in the balcony? JACKIE CHAN IN THE NOSEBLEED SEATS?!?!?! D.I.S.R.E.S.P.E.C.T.F.U.L.” wrote one user.
“Why did they seat poor Jackie Chan next to the bathroom?!?!” wrote another.
In reality, Chan was seated where he is because of his award. He previously received his statue when he was honored at the Governors Awards dinner last November.
Chan was also shown on screen clapping and dancing during Justin Timberlake‘s performance of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
That was a big hit.
Last but not least — nothing Asian-y, but very newsworthy — Warren Beatty read out the wrong Best Picture winner. Oops.
Though the real Best Picture win (Moonlight) represented progress for Black filmmakers and actors, the Oscars still have a ways to go in recognizing Asians. But at least it’s headed in the right direction.