Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr

Chris Rock pulled no punches in his opening Oscars monologue

He doesn't hold back.

 

Michelle Jaworski

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Published Feb 28, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 4:00 am CDT

Chris Rock took #OscarsSoWhite head-on in his Oscars monologue, devoting almost all of his time onstage to addressing the controversy.

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The 2016 nominations sparked outrage after white actors accounted for all of the possible acting nominations for the second year in a row. And while some people called for Rock to boycott the Oscars, he decided to keep hosting.

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“I thought about quitting,” Rock said. “I thought about it really hard. They’re gonna have the Oscars anyway,” Rock said. “And the last thing I need is to lost another job to Kevin Hart.”

Rock came onstage after a montage of the year’s best and biggest films, and he wasted no time ripping apart the Oscars, the whiteness of the nominees, and the racism that’s still apparent in Hollywood, while much of the audience squirmed or laughed uncomfortably.

And while the outrage led to some possible changes within the Academy, Rock pointed out that this is nowhere near the first time all of the nominated actors have been white.

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“Black people didn’t protest, because we had real things to protest at the time,” Rock said. “We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When you’re hanging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary short.” He even took a swing at police brutality before turning to the underlying question at hand.

“Is Hollywood racist?” he continued. “You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist … Hollywood is sorority racist. ‘We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’ But things are changing. We got a black Rocky this year!”

Rock then directed his criticism toward the systematic racism that’s woven throughout Hollywood.

People online largely loved Rock’s monologue, but some criticized it for not including other minorities.

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Photo via Disney | ABC Television Group/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 28, 2016, 11:33 pm CST