Putting aside the fact Rebel Wilson and James Corden consented to be in and were presumably well-paid for their work in Tom Hooper’s feline flop Cats, the pair are, of course, welcome to riff on the movie as hard as everyone else has been for the last three months. After the pair poked fun at the movie’s rendering of the titular animals by donning fuzzy kitty costumes while presenting at last night’s Oscars, however, the Visual Effects Society had some choice words for the pair. Specifically the words: fuck you. Just kidding, the Visual Effects Society is more polite than that, but they do seem pretty ticked off.
“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 organization said in a statement, reported by Variety. “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,” they continue. “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.”
Concluded the statement, “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.” Considering director Tom Hooper has admitted to finishing Cats the day before its premiere after 36 hours of editing, then later sending out an updated version of the film to theaters, we’re going to have to go ahead and assume, yeah, it probably wasn’t entirely the VFX artists’ fault after all.