Chris Rock 2016 Oscars Opening Video: Watch Academy Awards Monologue!
Chris Rock opened the 2016 Oscars on Sunday with a humorous but pointed monologue about the racial #OscarsSoWhite controversy surrounding the ceremony. Watch below.
The 88th annual Academy Awards began with a pre-taped montage showing highlights from the year’s films, including clips from movies that were snubbed. After, Rock took the stage in a tux with a white jacket and black pants. “Man, I counted at least 15 black people on that montage,” he quipped.
“Well, I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People Choice Awards. If they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job,” Rock said. He noted, “This is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host. You have all this controversy… I though about quitting, but I realized they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway… The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”
Rock went on, “Why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole ‘no black nominee things’ has happened at least 71 other times. You have to figure it happened in the 50s, in the 60s… And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about best cinematography. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, you’re too busy to care about winning best documentary short.”
He then made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the ceremony, saying it’s “like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties — I wasn’t invited. Oh, that’s not an invitation I would turn down.” Despite getting laughs earlier, Rock went on to make people squirm a bit when he said, “This year at the Oscars, things are gonna be a real different. In this year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just gonnna be black people who were shot by cops on the way to the movies.”
Rock then suggested, “You need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women… Is Hollywood racist? You know, you have to go at that the right way… It’s a different type of racist… You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.’ But things are changing.”
“Yeah, we got a black Rocky this year Some people call it Creed, I call it black Rocky,” the host said. More seriously, he said point-blank, “It’s not about boycotting anything. It’s about opportunity. We want to get the same opportunities. That’s it. Leo gets great parts every time.”
Rock also touched on the #AskHerMore campaign, claiming asking women about fashion isn’t sexist because men all where the same thing. He then formally opened the awards and introduced the first presenters, saying “You want diversity, we got diversity. Please welcome Emily Blunt and somebody whiter, Charlize Theron.”
This is Rock’s second time hosting the Oscars. He hosted the 77th Academy Awards back in 2005. The actor-comedian was named as this year’s host last October. Following the nominations announcement in January, in which all black actors were snubbed for the second year in a row, there were some calls for Rock to step down and join an Oscars boycott in protest. His commitment to the gig, however, never wavered, at least not publicly, and in the months leading up to the ceremony, he made pointed jokes about the situation on social media.
Rock now follows in the footsteps of recent hosts Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Seth MacFarlane (2013) and Billy Crystal (2012). He also joins a select group of people, including Jon Stewart and Goldie Hawn, who have emceed the Academy Awards twice. Check out Rock’s 2016 Oscars opening monologue below.