Members of the Visual Effects Society have slammed Oscars bosses over a skit in which Rebel Wilson and James Corden mocked Cats during the awards show on Sunday.
The actors starred alongside the likes of Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and Idris Elba in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the hit stage musical, which bombed at the box office and was slated by critics, who took issue with the visual effects used to make the stars look like felines.
Rebel and James wore furry cat costumes as they took to the stage at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles to present the award for Best Visual Effects, and joked: “As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.”
Accordingly, officials at the Visual Effects Society took offence to the quip and issued a statement in which they made it clear that they didn’t appreciate a joke being made at their expense.
“Last night, in presenting the Academy Award for outstanding visual effects, the producers chose to make visual effects the punchline, and suggested that bad VFX were to blame for the poor performance of the movie Cats,” the statement said. “The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.
“On a night that is all about honouring the work of talented artists, it is immensely disappointing that The Academy made visual effects the butt of a joke. It demeaned the global community of expert VFX practitioners doing outstanding, challenging and visually stunning work to achieve the filmmakers’ vision. Our 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.”
Representatives for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) have not yet responded. The 2020 Oscar for Best Visual Effects went to the 1917 team.
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