The host addressed the controversy right off the bat.
Chris Rock was quick to address the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in his monologue as host of the 88th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.
Perhaps the most anticipated moment of the night, heading into the show, was what Rock would say about the issue. Apart from a tweet calling the Oscars the “White BET Awards” immediately after the nominations were announced, Rock has remained silent on the issue, even canceling a planned cover story for The Hollywood Reporter.
Calling the show the “White People’s Choice Awards,” Rock added: “If you want black nominees every year you need to have back categories … like: best black friend. ‘And the winner for the 18th year in a row, is Wanda Sykes.’ Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is sorority racist.”
He added that the “In Memoriam package is just going to be black people shot by the police on their way to the movies.”
Here is what Hollywood had to say about his comments:
#ChrisRock is absolutely DESTROYING
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 29, 2016
Back in the day "We were too busy being raped & lynched to worry about who won for best cinematography." ~@ChrisRock
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) February 29, 2016
They should give Chris Rock a fresh 10 minutes at the top of every hour. #Oscars2016
— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) February 29, 2016
— Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting) February 29, 2016
Wow! Chris Rock.
— Paula Poundstone (@paulapoundstone) February 29, 2016
— Anson Mount (@ansonmount) February 29, 2016
— The Nightly Show (@nightlyshow) February 29, 2016
I think Chris Rock pulled strings to make sure no black people were nominated so he could do this set. #Oscars
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 29, 2016
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) February 29, 2016
I love chris rock. #Oscars
— Alex Gibney (@alexgibneyfilm) February 29, 2016
I didn't think Chris Rock would stay this long on #OscarsSoWhite. I am SO glad he is! Genius. Smart. Eloquent. Hilarious.
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) February 29, 2016
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) February 29, 2016
Watching @chrisrock kill it on the Oscars.
Good job Chris.
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) February 29, 2016
— Angie Harmon (@Angie_Harmon) February 29, 2016
— Melissa Grelo (@melissagrelo) February 29, 2016
Did he say gramma hanging from a tree?!!#Oscars
— Kym Whitley (@kymwhitley) February 29, 2016
I am also living for the UNCOMFORTABLE WHITE PEOPLE REACTION SHOTS #Oscars
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) February 29, 2016
Chris Rock killed the opening monologue. Terrific.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 29, 2016
— Ben Mankiewicz (@BenMank77) February 29, 2016
— Enrique Acevedo (@Enrique_Acevedo) February 29, 2016
— Kiki Von Glinow (@KikiVonGlinow) February 29, 2016