Oscars 2020: Visual Effects Artists Fuming Over 'Cats' Gag With James Corden and Rebel Wilson

It turns out Maya Rudolph wasn't the only one unamused by the joke made at the expense of Cats. During The Oscars last night, James Corden and Rebel Wilson took the stage to present the award for Best Visual Effects, donning similar looks they sported in director Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation. However, when referencing the film's unimpressive box-office run, they joked that it was the film's effects that made it so off-putting to both audiences and critics.

In response to the joke, the chairman of The Visual Effects Society, Mike Chambers, told The Hollywood Reporter that regarding "this one incident, every ear perked up."

"Though doubtfully it was the intention, it was somewhat insulting," Chambers said.

The VES also issued the following statement over the matter.

"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," the statement read. "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."


After the joke was told and the list of nominated films was read, it was 1917 that took home the trophy. Director Sam Mendes' ambitious WWI epic beat out a trio of big-budget Disney films, The Lion King, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as well as Martin Scorsese's mob movie epic The Irishman.

1917 was nominated for a total of 10 awards, including Best Picture. It won a total of three, including Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing and Best Cinematography.