Comedian and actor Chris Rock did not heed Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott, but he certainly did not let the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences off easy for the lack of diversity in its nominations.
Less than a minute in, Rock opens “Well I’m here at the Academy Awards otherwise known as the white people choice awards.”
He then quipped that if the Academy had to nominate a host, they would listening to Neil Patrick Harris.
He didn’t hold back on Hollywood’s race problem or Pinkett Smith’s boycott.
Rock said the Baltimore actress boycotting the Oscars is like him boycotting Rihanna’s panties. “I wasn’t been invited.”
He also hinted that her boycott was really a smokescreen to mask her disappointment that her husband Will Smith was nominated for his lead role in “Concussion.”
Still he acknowledged the pressure to skip the Oscars Sunday night.
“I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard but I realized their going to have the Oscars anyway, They’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit.”
So the “Everybody Hates Chris” creator kept the hosting job and used it as a platform to chastise the Academy with jokes, skits
and even a surprise appearance by Stacey Dash.
He introduced Dash as the Academy’s director of its new “minority outreach program” to which the FOX News pundit who once said there should be no Black History month replied “I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month.”
Rock also used comedy to make key points about racial inequity within Hollywood.
“The real question everybody wants to know, everybody wants to know in the world is: Is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist?”
He answered “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa. That’s how Hollywood is.”
He also addressed the frustrations of many minority actors and actresses when talked about Leonardo DiCaprio’s career. “The Revenant”actor, he said, got good parts every year, “but what about black actors?”
Black actors and actresses, he insisted, just want more opportunities.
Watch the entirety of Rock’s monologue below.