The Visual Effects Society took issue with the Oscars turning their category into a joke about the movie Cats

By Ale Russian
February 13, 2020 10:19 AM

Not everyone was laughing at the Oscars‘ Cats bit on Sunday night.

After the movie musical was slammed by critics and audiences alike — and didn’t receive any nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards — stars Rebel Wilson and James Corden represented the movie at Sunday night’s ceremony by dressing up as their characters from the musical to present the Best Visual Effects award.

But the Visual Effects Society didn’t think the bit was funny, saying they felt it diminished their art form and turned visual effects into a joke during the ceremony.

“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,” a statement from the Visual Effects Society read, according to The Guardian. “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,” the statement continued. “It demeaned the global community of expert VFX practitioners doing outstanding, challenging and visually stunning work to achieve the filmmakers’ vision…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.”

RELATED: Cats Makes It to the Oscars After All! Rebel Wilson and James Corden Present as Their Characters

James Corden and Rebel Wilson
Kevin Winter/Getty

To present the category, Wilson and Corden walked out in full bodysuits of their Cats characters, complete with feline-inspired makeup on their faces, which was met with laughter from the audience.

“As cast members of the motion picture Cats,” Wilson started off, “nobody more than us understands the importance,” Corden continued, before they both finished, “of good visual effects.”

Before announcing the winner, the two pretended to be cats distracted by the microphone stand, hitting it with their hands multiple times.

Cats was released in theaters Christmas week and earned a dismal $6.6 million in its opening weekend against a $95 million budget. The film earned a 17 percent score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 58 percent audience score.