Chris Rock is the host of this year’s Oscars and boy, did he not waste any time when he pointed out the elephant in the room which was about the show’s lack of diversity as soon as the opening montage ended.
The first joke about the issue was:
“Man, I count at least 15 black people on that montage,”
Referring to last year’s host: “If they nominated hosts I wouldn’t even get this job so you’d be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”
“Is Hollywood racist?” he asked. “You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist.” Rock dished it out by saying that the industry was not “burning cross racist … it’s a different type of racist”.
“I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard, but the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart” he joked about it when he was continuously asked to boycott the event.
Rock also threw some shade (jokingly, of course) on Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, two of some high-profile boycotters of the event. Rock said: “Jada got mad, she said she’s not coming. Doesn’t she have a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties – I wasn’t invited!”
“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.’”
Kudos to Chris Rock for being able to bring up a serious issue but at the same time enlightening audience and viewers. Slotting in lighthearted jokes while dishing out the truth can’t be that easy!