Chris Rock just gave one of the most difficult Oscars opening monologues ever. The comedian dedicated the 88th Academy Awards show open to addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in a way that only he could.
Chris Rock kicked off his monologue saying, “Man, I counted at least 15 black people in that montage. I’m here at the Academy Awards, also known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”
Rock addressed critics who said he should have dropped the gig because of the #OscarSoWhite protests with a quip about fellow black comedian Kevin Hart.
“Last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart. I don’t need that,” Rock said.
He then turned his attention to Jada Pinkett and Will Smith’s proposed Oscar’s boycott.
“What happened this year? Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars. Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,” Rock joked. “I wasn’t invited! It’s not an invitation I would turn down.”
“It’s not fair that Will Smith was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.”
Rock then attempted at address the #BlackLivesMatter movement with humor.
“This year, in the ‘in memoriam’ package, it’s just gonna be black people that was shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, yes, I said it.”
Rock also discussed how this is not the first time that no black actors were nominated in major acting categories but said that in decades past, black people were more focused on civil rights issues.
“Black people did not protest. Why? because we had real things to protest at the time,” he said. “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.”
Moments after Rock’s opening monologue, he set social media on fire by introducing Stacey Dash, who he described as “the director of our new minority outreach program.”
“I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month,” Dash shouted out before vanishing off-stage.
— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) February 29, 2016
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) February 29, 2016
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 29, 2016
— John Williams (@johnwillms) February 29, 2016
I was making the face from the Stacey Dash moment ahhhhhhh not Sarah!
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) February 29, 2016
— deray (@deray) February 29, 2016
— Jaclyn Kessel (@jaclynkessel) February 29, 2016