Read time: 5 minutes

Chris Rock Skewers OscarsSoWhite During Brilliant Opening Monologue

"Damn right Hollywood is racist."
Views:

If anyone thought Chris Rock was going to make it through this year's Academy Awards without addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, they would be sadly mistaken. The host did a brilliant job tackling racism in Hollywood right out of the box during his opening monologue.

Chris Rock Oscar jokes: His most devastating lines:

In the most eagerly anticipated opening monologue in recent Oscar history, host Chris Rock took the stage Sunday night and did not disappoint. The comedian opened the 88th Academy Awards with a slew of jokes gunning at the elephant in the room: the controversy surrounding the lack of black nominees at this year’s ceremony. (For the second year in a row, every acting nominee at the Oscars is white.)

In true Rock style, the comedian didn’t simply tackle the hot-button topic from a single critical viewpoint, but made comments that attempted to put the heated controversy in some historical perspective.

Here’s a rundown of Rock’s #OscarsSoWhite jokes, which pretty much dominated his entire monologue:

– “Man, I counted at least 15 black people in that montage.”

– “I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”

– “You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job! You’d all be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”

– “No black nominees. People are like, ‘Chris you should boycott, Chris you should quit.’ How come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something? … I thought about quitting. I thought about it really hard. But I realized they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway. They’re not gonna cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to to lose another job to Kevin Hart, okay?”

– “Why are we protesting this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this ‘no black nominees’ thing happened at least 71 other times. You got to figure that it happened in the ’50s, in the ’60s. One of those years, Sidney [Poitier] didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years, say ‘62 or ‘63. Black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematography. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”


↓ Story continues below ↓

– “Everybody went mad [this year] … Jada [Pinkett Smith] got mad. Jada said she’s not coming. Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”

– “I understand you’re mad. I’m not hating. … Jada’s mad her man Will [Smith] was not nominated for Concussion. I get it … 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, okay?”

– “This year, things are going to be a little different. 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 I said it!”

– “If you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories. That’s what you need. You already do it with men and women. Think about it: There’s no real reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting. There’s no reason! It’s not track and field. You don’t have to separate them. Robert De Niro never said, ‘I should slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.’ No. Not at all. If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories. Like Best Black Friend. And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. This is Wanda’s 18th black Oscar.”

– “Everybody in the world wants to know: Is Hollywood racist? You got to go at that the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? Is it ‘fetch me some lemonade’ racist? It’s a different type of racist. The other night, I was at a fundraiser for president Obama, a lot of you were there … It’s all of Hollywood and there were four black people there: me, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, Questlove. The usual suspects. … At some point you get to take a picture with the president. As they’re setting up the picture you get a little moment with the president. I’m like, ‘Mr. President, you see all these writers producers and actors, they don’t hire black people – and they’re the nicest white people on Earth.’ They’re liberals! Cheese … Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it’s not the racist you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’”

– “But things are changing. We got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed; I call it Black Rocky. That’s an unbelievable statement, because Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes. Rocky is a science fiction movie. There are things that happened in Star Wars that are more believable than what happened in Rocky.”

– “It’s not about boycotting anything, we want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors. That’s it. Not just once. Leo gets a great part every year. All you guys get great parts all the time. But what about the black actors. Jamie Foxx is one of the best actors in the world. Jamie Foxx is so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles. They’re like, ‘We don’t need two of these.’”

– “Another big thing this year is you’re not to ask women what they’re wearing this year. You have to ‘ask her more’ … Hey everything’s not sexism, eveerything’s not racisim. They ask the men more because the men are wearing the same outfits. If George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux on, and a swan coming out of his ass, somebody would go, ‘What you wearing George?’”

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.