Tags: chris rock | monologue | diversity | controversy

Chris Rock Monologue Digs Right in to Racial Diversity Controversy

Image: Chris Rock Monologue Digs Right in to Racial Diversity Controversy
Host Chris Rock speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 29 Feb 2016 08:37 AM

Chris Rock's monologue at the Academy Awards Sunday night addressed the diversity controversy head-on, skewering everyone from the Hollywood elite to those who boycotted the show.

The Oscars has been dogged by its lack of diversity for the last month ever since it was announced that only white actors were nominated for all the major acting awards for the second year in a row, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite reemerged as the controversy swirled.

Rock, who had been called on to step down as host, said in his opening that he did think about ditching the gig but ultimately decided to stay on.

"You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job," Rock quipped, according to E! Online. "Y'all be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now . . . I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. But I realized, they're going to have the Oscars anyway. They're not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."

Rock used humor to weave the issue of race in Hollywood directly into the monologue, Fox News noted.

"Everyone wants to know in the world, is Hollywood racist? Is it burning cross racist? No. Is it fetch me some lemonade racist? No. It's a different type of racist . . . Hollywood is sorority racist. It's like, we like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa," Rock said, noted Fox News.

He also pointed jokes at actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who were some of the first to boycott.

"Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited," Rock said. "Her man Will was not nominated for 'Concussion.' I get it. You get mad. It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for 'Wild Wild West.'"

The Daily Beast writer Kevin Fallon called Rock's monologue "legendary" but not perfect. He also questioned whether it would change the nature of future Oscar nominations.

"The elephant in the room was addressed," Fallon wrote. "With Chris Rock firing the shots, it was nearly poached. But it will take more than one powerful Oscars monologue to make the change that is actually necessary."

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Chris Rock's monologue at the Academy Awards Sunday night addressed the diversity controversy head-on, skewering everyone from the Hollywood elite to those who boycotted the show.
chris rock, monologue, diversity, controversy
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2016-37-29
Monday, 29 Feb 2016 08:37 AM
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