We all know how Cats turned out to be a massive dud, and the Oscars had decided to make a nod to the flop by having the award for Best Visual Effects presented by James Corden and Rebel Wilson in their Cats outfits. Though it seemed like a funny joke to the audience, the Visual Effects Society of Hollywood was not amused.
In a statement they released (via JoBlo), the 4000-member group had this to say about the VFX award being made the butt of the joke at the Oscars:
“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. 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. 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,”
Here's the skit in question:
If anything, the statement does indeed have a point. The VFX artists were just doing their job when it came to Cats, and I’m sure someone else is to blame for pushing the film forward with a look of the cat people in the movie. Then again, it’s just a silly joke, and I don’t think that the Academy was making some kind of statement when it comes to VFX work.
Then again, the Oscars still need to get their jokes somewhere, and I guess VFX just kind of got drew the short straw this year. Here’s Ben Stiller presenting the award for VFX at the 2006 Oscars:
While the Academy likes to brand themselves as a prestigious group, they have recently been criticized for having very old-school ways of deciding who wins and who doesn’t. This year, though, marks a very progressive direction that the Oscars are going. Let’s hope that VFX gets the appreciation it deserves in the long run.