Chris Rock at the Oscars: Hollywood is ‘a different type of racist’

By Sheryl Estrada


Chris Rock at the 88th Annual Academy Awards

In his opening monologue at the 88th Annual Academy Awards Sunday night, host Chris Rock used his comedic style of humor mixed with brutal honesty to address the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, while wearing a white tuxedo jacket.

For the second consecutive year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated exclusively white actors for all four acting categories. Rock said he thought about quitting the Oscars. But then realized the show would go on without him, joking that he’d lose another job to comedian Kevin Hart.

Instead, he took the opportunity to explain why on the 88th year of the awards showpeople are outraged by the lack of diversity, which is nothing new.

“Now the thing is, why are we protesting” Rock said. “The big question: Why this Oscars Why this Oscars, you know”

Rock’s explanation focused exclusively on the experience of Blacks in America facing racism in the 1950s and 60s with jokes that visibly make people uncomfortable.

“We had real things to protest at the time, you know” he said. “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

He then pulledno punches when addressing racism in Hollywood.

“Is Hollywood racist You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to.”

Rock said the industry isn’t “burning-cross racist” or “fetch-me-some-lemonade racist.”

He said it’s a different type of racist “sorority racist.”

“We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa,” he said. “That’s how Hollywood is. But things are changing. Things are changing.”

Rock shared that before taking a photo with President Obama during a fundraiser at the White House with showbiz guests, he mentioned to him a reason why there’s a lack of diversity in Hollywood:

“I’m like, ‘Mr. President, you see all these writers and producers and actors They don’t hire Black people, and they’re the nicest white people on earth! They’re liberals! Cheese!'”

Rock expressed his disapproval of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott of the Oscars.

“You get mad that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated [for his role in ‘Concussion’],”he said. “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million to do ‘Wild Wild West.'”

Rock also touched upon the national controversy of the recent police-related deaths of unarmed African Americans:

“Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be Black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, yes. I said it. Alright”

He said opportunity is key, “We want opportunity give Black actors the same opportunities as white actors. That’s it. Leo gets a great part every year. What about Jamie Foxx”

During the awards about one-third of the presenters and performers were people of color.

(Complete List of 2016 Oscar Winners)

Watch a clip of Rock’s monologue:

Diversity, Inclusiveness and the Academy

As a result of backlash andboycotts, the Academy announced in January avague plan stating it would “double” its “diversity,”without releasing thedemographics of the people who vote for the Oscars.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, took the stage Sunday nightto emphasize that diversity and inclusiveness will be a high priority.

“Our audiences are global and rich in diversity,” she said, “and every facet of our industry should be as well.”

She continued, “The Academy Board of Governors recently took concrete action and sent a message that inclusion only serves to make us all stronger. It’s important that the members of the Academy and everyone in this room help deliver that message. Each of you is an ambassador who can influence others in the industry. It’s not enough to just listen and agree. We must take action.”

Isaacs then quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Stacey Dash’s Awkward Moment

Shortly after his monologue, Rock introduced actress Stacey Dash, a Fox News commentator, as the “new director” of the Academy’s “minority outreach program.”

“I cannot wait to help my people out,” Dash said. “Happy Black History Month!”

View a clip:

The joke was to address the recent controversy overthe “Clueless” star’s condemnation of Black History Month.

The audience was confused and the joke fell flat.

Celebrities commented on Twitter:

Total Beauty’s Social Media Fail

Ironically, in an Oscar season of controversy over diversity, Total Beauty, a website that offers fashion and beauty advice, confusedactress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg with media mogulOprah Winfrey in a tweet. “We had no idea @Oprah was #tatted, and we love it. #oscars”

But Goldberg was in the photo, not Winfrey.

After being roasted on social media, the company issued anapology tweet:

Gayle King, co-anchor of “CBS This Morning,” editor-at-large for O (the Oprah Magazine) and Winfrey’s bestie, posted the following response on her Instagram account:

“gayleking: @Oprah & favorite daughter watching #Oscars & seeing @totalbeauty snafu! We all love @whoopigoldberg but we don’t all look alike Jeeeze!”

Latest News

closeup of hand with remote

Anti-LGBTQ Group ‘One Million Moms’ Protests Mattress Company’s Inclusive Commercial Featuring Lesbian Couple

The conservative anti-LGBTQ hate organization known as One Million Moms is at it again, this time protesting a TV commercial from the bedding company Avocado Green Mattress, which features a number of couples relaxing on their mattresses, including what the group considers an “offensive” lesbian couple. The Advocate’s Trudy Ring…

girls high school sports

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Officially Bans Transgender Students From School Sports

Holding true to threats he has made in the past, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has officially signed into Texas state law a rule that would restrict transgender students from participating in high school sports consistent with their gender identity. ESPN’s Katie Barnes reported that following Abbott’s action, Texas has become…

Prince

Music Icon Prince Could Soon Be Honored With Posthumous Congressional Gold Medal

He changed music history and was the soundtrack for countless people’s lives, and now music legend Prince could soon be awarded a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. government. Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press has reported that “Minnesota’s Congressional delegation on Monday, Oct. 25, introduced a resolution to…

AAPI Hate

New FBI Report Estimates Anti-Asian Hate in the United States Increased by 73% in 2020

We’ve known anti-Asian sentiment increased dramatically in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but new government data quantifies just how shockingly severe that jump has been. Based on recently released FBI data, Sakshi Venkatraman of NBC News reported that “anti-Asian hate crimes increased more than 73% in…

Boeing building

Boeing Global Services CEO Ted Colbert Named Black Engineer of the Year by ‘US Black Engineer & Information Technology’ Magazine

Originally published at boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The…

map of Iowa

Black Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn Threatened With Lynching After Penning Anti-Trump Op-Ed

An Iowa Democrat has been threatened with violence simply for writing an opinion piece critical of the former president. Brianne Pfannenstiel of the Des Moines Register has reported that “Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn received multiple threats, including one of lynching, after he penned an opinion piece critical of…