When Sacha Baron Cohen stepped out on the stage at Sunday Night's Academy Awards as his long-since retired alter ego Ali G, we could have guessed the off-color jokes were just seconds away — and we were right.
But this time Twitter was watching.
"It ain't just me brethren that has been overlooked: It is all people of all colors," Sacha Baron Cohen said. while presenting Best Picture nominee Room and describing himself as "yet another token black presenter."
"How come," he asked, "there is no Oscra [sic] for them very hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs? You know — the Minions."
The internet did not respond as favorably as his A-list audience. Cohen received opprobrium on Twitter for his racially-charged joke, which was based on the old trope that Asian men are not well endowed.
But, unfortunately, that wasn't it for Asian stereotypes. There was another moment over the course of the evening when presenter Chris Rock trotted out three adorable Asian children, suggesting they tabulated the results — because, of course, all Asians are gifted mathematicians.
"Now if anyone's upset about this, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids," Rock added. Because what doesn't say "funny" like "child slave labor"?
People didn't like that too much either.
Chris Rock's Asian joke arguably undermined what many hailed as a powerful opening monologue, explicitly addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the racism blacks face in Hollywood.
Subsequently, the public's response went from this: