By Lauren Huff
February 10, 2020 at 10:11 PM EST
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Me-ow.

The Visual Effects Society is slamming the Oscars over Sunday night’s Cats-themed bit involving James Corden and Rebel Wilson.

“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 Monday. “The best visual effects in the world will not compensate for a story told badly.” The VES, which boasts around 4,000 members, says it “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 segment in question featured Corden and Wilson evoking their Cats characters in full furry suits and makeup to present the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. “As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” the two joked before rattling off the list of nominees — but apparently the VES was not amused.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“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,” the statement continued. “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.”

The group ends its missive by saying that in the future it hopes the Academy will do better to “properly honor the craft of visual effects.”

Released in December and based on the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name, Cats proved to be a critical and commercial flop, with some detractors taking issue with the film’s CGI. Director Tom Hooper has defended the movie.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not immediately respond to request for comment on the VES’ statement.

Related content:

Tom Hooper directs a star-studded adaptation of the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
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