Last night’s Oscars didn’t have a host, which meant there was a little more time here and there for presenters to do little comedy routines. There were generally pretty good, like Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus doing a fun bit about how they don’t know what a cinematographer does or the tour de force that Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig put on (and that clip doesn’t even include their song!), but one of these little comedy routines actually managed to offend the film industry’s entire visual effects community. To present the Best Visual Effects award, James Corden and Rebel Wilson from Cats took the stage in full Cats cat costumes (think the Broadway musical, not the movie) and made little winky jokes about how nobody understands the importance of visual effects more than they do—because they were in Cats, which famously had some freaky aesthetics.
It got a pretty big laugh from the crowd, but now the Visual Effects Society has released a statement about how its 4,000 members took offense to the joke, saying the producers of the Oscars “suggested that bad VFX were to blame for the poor performance of the movie Cats.” The statement went on to highlight the real problem with the film, saying “the best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly” and that the group’s many “artists, technicians and innovators deserve respect for their remarkable contributions to filmed entertainment, and should not be presented as the all-too-convenient scapegoat in service for a laugh.”
Basically, they are saying that the Oscars should take it up with Cats director Tom Hooper if they had a problem with the movie, not the team of artists who had to create all of the ridiculous shit in that movie and already don’t get as much credit as they deserve for the hard work they do.