The world waited with bated breaths for Chris Rock’s performance at the Academy Awards and its safe to say he set tongues wagging.
Acting as host on the Dolby Theatre stage, Chris bandied jokes here and there. He said: “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.”
The 51-year old comedian directed his opening monologue towards the issue of race, diversity and the #OscarsSoWhite boycott where he threw digs at Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith who bot boycotted the ceremony because of Hollywood’s failure to recognize actors of colour.
On Will, he said: If he wants it all about merit, can we complain about the $20 million he got for ‘Wild Wild West’. He then took a jab at Jada when he said “Everybody went mad (this year). Jada 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. You can’t boycott something no one invited you to.”
He also opened up that people suggested he boycott Oscars for not nominating black artistes but he said, “”No black nominees. People are like, ‘Chris you should boycott, Chris you should quit.’ 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 lose another job to Kevin Hart, okay?”
He asked, “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.”
On the #OscarsSoWhite backlash to the protests of the 50s and 60s, Rock said, “Black people did not protest [the Oscars] Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know, we were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it is really hard to care about best documentary.”
He also gave a shout out to ex-Oscars winner Jamie Foxx for his performance in 2004 flick ‘Ray’. “But what about Jamie Foxx? Jamie Foxx is one of the best actors in the world. Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged Ray Charles. We dont need two of these!”, he said.
Rock ended his monologue by telling the Dolby Theatre crowd that “everything is not about race.”
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