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Oscars host Chris Rock had the honor of opening the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday night and he chose to use the opportunity to tackle the ongoing topic of racism that’s plaguing the entire organization.
For the second year in a row, the nominating committee failed to produce a single African-American nomination and a number of people (particularly the black celebrities of Hollywood) are outraged by this fact. Comedian Chris Rock is most certainly one of those people, as evident by his entire 10-minute long speech that can easily be described as:
Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist.
However, Rock also took the time to mock Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, two high-profile boycotters of the event.
Here’s what he 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! You get mad that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated [for his role in Concussion]. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20m to do Wild Wild West.
Rock’s speech took an unexpected twist when he added how strange it was for the Oscars to harness so much controversy, seeing as many of the previous ceremonies had been all-white.
To quote him:
It’s the 88th Academy Awards which means this whole no-black-nominees thing has 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, and black people didn’t protest because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematographer.