- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2016

The mother of one of the Asian children brought onto the Oscars stage Sunday night during Chris Rock’s bit about child labor is speaking out.

Laura Kung, the mother of 8-year-old Estie Kung, who is half-Chinese, said she was only told about the joke’s premise at the audition and that she didn’t know until rehearsals that the racial jab would be so offensive. She said by that time it was too late since she had already signed the contract.

“I assumed there was a bigger picture, a more complex joke given all the emphasis placed on diversity at the Oscars this year,” Ms. Kung, who lives in Los Angeles, told Public Radio International.

While hosting the Oscars, Mr. Rock joked that accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers had sent over some accountants to help Academy members “tabulate” the votes.

“They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard-working representatives,” he said. “Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.”

Three young children of Asian descent then appeared onstage in suits carrying briefcases.

Mr. Rock then joked, “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids.”

The joke sparked a wave of backlash, adding fuel to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that began over a lack of non-white acting nominees.

“This was not OK and should never have happened,” Ms. Kung told PRI. “But the angrier people are and more people talk about it, the better it will be moving forward. Estie hopes to keep acting and we all hope for a time when she can be on that stage to honor her achievement.”

Just over a month ago, Estie toured four countries in Asia and gave over 50 interviews to promote “Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown.” She has also appeared on the “Late Late Show with James Corden,” the New York Daily News reported.

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