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Chris Rock dives into diversity controversy at Oscars

Oscars host Chris Rock dove straight into the diversity controversy on Sunday night (28Feb16), proclaiming “Hollywood is racist” during his opening monologue.
Officials at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been under fire since last month (Jan16), when it was revealed that no African-Americans had been nominated for the top acting or directing categories for the second consecutive year.
Actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee boycotted the ceremony, while the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag has become a popular campaign method among social media users and celebrities alike.
Comedian Rock did not waste any time getting into the debate opening the show, after a montage of clips from films over the past year was played.
The funnyman came on stage and said, “Man, I counted at least 15 black people in that montage.”
He went on, “Welcome to the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White Peoples’ Choice Awards. If they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job – you’d be watching (2015 Oscars host) Neil Patrick Harris… I thought about quitting. I thought about it really hard. And the last thing I need is to to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”
Rock continued to question why stars would protest the 88th annual prizegiving, pointing out that the “not black nominees thing happened 71 other times,” suggesting black people didn’t boycott the ceremony since there were “real things to protest at the time… we were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.”
The comedian went on with his candid monologue, saying, “Is Hollywood racist? You got to go at that the right way. Is it burning cross racist? It’s a different type of racist… Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist… Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
He also suggested having “black categories” in order to have more black nominees, and insisted people of colour just want the same opportunities as white actors.
However, Rock’s 15 minute monologue on the scandal didn’t stop there. Throughout the show, he continued to mention the controversy, with one sketch featuring a montage of re-shot nominated films using black actors such as Whoopi Goldberg in Joy, Tracy Morgan as The Danish Girl and comedienne Leslie Jones as the bear in The Revenant.
Angela Bassett also participated in a skit called the Black History Month Minute, leading viewers to believe she was taking a swipe at Will Smith but in fact the actress turned the tables to “honour” Jack Black instead.
Rock concluded his hosting gig with the sign off, “I wanna invite everyone to the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards this summer! Black Lives Matter!,” acknowledging the social justice movement among Africa-Americans in the U.S., and rap group Public Enemy’s 1989 anthem Fight The Power played over the closing credits.

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