Academy CEO Apologizes to Members of Asian Descent for Oscar Night "Hurt"

Dawn Hudson - H 2016
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Dawn Hudson - H 2016

Dawn Hudson, the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has responded to 25 Academy members of Asian-American descent — including Ang Lee, George Takei and Sandra Oh — who sent a letter to her and the Academy's Board of Governors on Tuesday to protest racially insensitive jokes in last month's Oscars ceremony.

The brief response, which was emailed on Tuesday afternoon, acknowledged the members' criticisms — which centered on a skit in which host Chris Rock introduced three Asian children as Academy accountants and comments ad-libbed by presenter Sacha Baron Cohen that insinuated that Asians have small genitalia — are "valid."

Hudson emphasized that it "was never the Academy's intent to offend anyone" and that the organization "will be exercising more oversight" going forward "to ensure that material in future telecasts [will] be more culturally sensitive."

Hudson's personal apology follows a statement issued by an Academy spokesperson earlier in the day that expressed "regrets that any aspect of the Oscar telecast was offensive."

Read the full text of Hudson's email below.

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Dear Friends and other concerned Academy members,

Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns about our 88th Oscar show, which are valid. We appreciate your perspective and take your points very seriously. It certainly was never the Academy’s intent to offend anyone.

We are committed to doing our best to ensure that material in future Oscar telecasts be more culturally sensitive.

It pains us that any aspect of the show was considered offensive, and I apologize for any hurt the skits caused.

Our Awards Committee and Academy leadership will be exercising more oversight to make sure that concerns like yours are fully addressed.

With warm regards,

Dawn Hudson