The comedic duo walked onto the Oscars stage Sunday dressed head to toe in their full "Cats" regalia as audience members laughed.
"As cast members of the motion picture "Cats," nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects," they said in their bit.
This joke referenced the movie's "digital fur technology," but the Visual Effects Society wanted to make sure graphic artists weren't blamed for the universally panned movie's poor box office performance.
"The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly," the society said in a statement. "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."
Yves McCrae, an artist who worked on "Cats," also tweeted about the jab.
"Hey guys I haven't watched all of the Oscars but I assume these two were really classy and thanked me for working 80 hour weeks right up until I was laid off and the studio closed, right?" the tweet read.
Hey guys I haven't watched all of the Oscars but I assume these two were really classy and thanked me for working 80 hour weeks right up until I was laid off and the studio closed, right? https://t.co/dolAwK2xbr— Yves McCrae (@YvesTM) February 11, 2020
McCrae said the VFX team knew "Cats" wouldn't be the most polished project but everyone tried their hardest.
"No one wanted it to fail," he said.
The movie received scathing reviews, with WABC-TV's Sandy Kenyon saying it deserved "a special place in movie hell."
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