• Monday, Feb. 10, 2020
VES Takes Exception To Oscars Joke Attributing "Cats" Failure To VFX
James Corden (l) and Rebel Wilson present the award for best visual effects at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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It was inevitable that somebody on Oscars night would make fun of Cats, a critically panned movie which performed dismally at the box office. Decked out in full Cats costumes, James Corden and Rebel Wilson did just that in presenting the Academy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects. But their attempted humor cited the visual effects as contributing to Cats failure, eliciting pushback from the Visual Effects Society (VES).

On stage, Wilson said, "As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of...”

“Good visual effects,” Wilson and Corden uttered in unison.

In response to the Sunday night bit, the Visual Effects Society (VES) issued the following statement today:

“The Visual Effects Society is focused on recognizing, advancing and honoring visual effects as an art form--and ensuring that the men and women working in VFX are properly valued.

“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 best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.

“On a night that is all about honoring 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.

“Moving forward, we hope that The Academy will properly honor the craft of visual effects--and all of the crafts, including cinematography and film editing--because we all deserve it.” 

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