Jeremy Lin Was Not OK With Chris Rock’s Oscar Hosting Gig
On Sunday Chris Rock struck a blow for diversity and equality -- as long as you're black. If you're native American or Asian of Hispanic, well, forget it.
I didn't watch the Academy Awards -- never do. If I want a self-congratulatory snooze-fest, I'll watch a DVD of Super Bowl 50. But I've seen video of Rock's monologue, and it was good. He makes great points, and is of course one of the greater comedians of our day.
But they weren't all gems. Eventually he moved into troubling territory -- the badlands of hypocrisy. At one point Rock brought three Asian kids onto the stage and made a joke about how they were the accountants handling Oscar votes (Asians are good at math!). He followed that by noting that, if you didn't like that joke, you could send him a tweet on the phones that these kids made.
Many laughed, but some did not.
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 29, 2016
So it's possible that Rock was being ironic. See? By making a crude joke about Asians, I'm shining a light on the lack of diversity in all of the motion picture industry. Yeah, but if that's the case, it was way too esoteric. If you're going to drag kids onto the stage for a controversial bit, let's make it understandable. It's best not to use children as props for your experimental racial comedy, period.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G also had a sketch concerning Minions as Asians, although I didn't see it. Chances are it was just as stupid.
So I've seen many replies to Lin's tweet, thanking him for speaking up. But I've seen far more from people demanding that we not be so sensitive, and that Rock's skit was "just a joke."
I'm not sure when telling other people how to feel became our national pastime, but it sure is popular. And that's just people's way of deflecting guilt: Donald Trump has built an entire presidential campaign on it. Think of the absurdity there, though. You're telling a person of Chinese descent: "You're not allowed to be offended by this." Really? How about screw you? Try that with your spouse tonight and see how it goes over.
That's the point Lin is making. He's just tired of the diversity conversation being strictly a black-and-white thing. Rock's entire act is pacing the stage like Groucho Marx, and complaining how unfair life is for black people. The latter is anchored in truth, of course. But Jesus, mix in a few other jokes occasionally. There's also such a thing as comedic diversity.
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