Anthony Anderson Calls Out Oscars Diversity Controversy In 2016 NAACP Image Awards Opening (VIDEO)
Anthony Anderson called out the Oscars diversity controversy during his 2016 NAACP Image Awards opening on Friday. Check out the video below.
The returning host opened the 47th annual ceremony with a nod to Straight Outta Compton, one of the movies largely snubbed by the Academy Awards. The actor-comedian performed two raps as N.W.A., which in this case stood for “Nominees With Attitude.” The lyrics included pointed references to the all-white Oscars acting nominations and why blacks have their “own” awards show.
Anderson received a standing ovation from many in the audience, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, who are boycotting the upcoming Oscar ceremony. But the night’s emcee was far from finished. He then did a proper monologue with a tone swinging from humorous to serious.
“Look at these beautiful shades of people in the audience,” Anderson told the star-studded crowd. “Hollywood needs to know that this is what diversity is supposed to look like.” He went on to say, “I love seeing all these faces [of] black people working. Everybody keeps saying it’s a comeback. But hell, don’t call it a comeback. We’ve been here for years.”
Anderson then name-checked some big stars, including the Smiths. “Will and Jada in the audience tonight,” the host pointed out before adding, “They better be here after all this ish they started!” The camera then cut to Smith cracking up as his wife clapped.
Anderson later said, “Even though we have our own awards show, I just want the other ones to be fair. I just hope they don’t go overboard next year and nominate too much black stuff out of guilt,” which was a set-up for a joke about the Academy Awards giving out “Kevin Harts” instead of “Oscars,” and Madea Goes Trick or Treating in Compton winning Best Picture.
More seriously, Anderson then added, “But tonight is not the night to focus on other awards shows. This is about us. This is our show. and it’s not a comeback. We have been here and we aren’t going anywhere.” Watch the full video below.