PALO ALTO (CBS SF) — NBA guard Jeremy Lin wasn’t feeling it one bit when Chris Rock called three Asian kids dressed in suits onstage at the Oscars, and introduced them as PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants.
“I want you to please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz,” said Rock, adding later,”..if anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was probably also made by these kids.”
Plainly, the punchline relies on everyone buying into the stereotype that Asians are good with numbers and that their phones were made in China. Lin got it, but wasn’t buying.
The Charlotte Hornet player tweeted, “Seriously though, when is this going to change?!? Tired of it being “cool” and “ok” to bash Asians smh #Oscars.”
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 29, 2016
When it comes to Asian stereotypes, Lin defies them every time he walks his 6’3″ body onto a basketball court. A star player at Palo Alto High, he was named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year his senior year. He continued to set records playing at Harvard and managed to graduate with a degree in economics. He has gone on to play for the the Warriors, the Knicks, the Rockets, the Lakers and the Hornets.
Lin said he has no beef with Rock and doubts the comedian wrote the skit, but felt it out of place, especially after Rock’s opening monologue about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. The paucity of African-American nominations spurred black actors to call for a boycott of this year’s show, and Rock’s brash ‘in your face’ style brought the #OscarsSoWhite backlash center stage.
“I think the whole push was he talking about opportunities and diversity and things that I totally agree with,” Lin told the Associated Press. “I thought his monologue was well done. He walked a fine line and did it pretty well.”
“I just feel like sometimes the way people perceive Asians or Asian-Americans today can be disappointing in the way they view them,” Lin said. “Even Asian-American masculinity or whatever you want to talk about, just a lot of the ways that Asians are perceived I don’t always agree with.”
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.