Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Chris Rock's Oscars Intro: 'You're Damn Right, Hollywood Is Racist' (Video)

Chris Rock speaks onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Chris Rock opened the 88th Academy Awards with a scathing monologue that took the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head on.

"I counted at least 15 black people in that montage," said Rock, after he took the stage following an opening montage of films from 2015. He went on to call the Oscars "The White People's Choice Awards."

In addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Rock said he decided not to boycott the ceremony (as Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee did), saying he "thought about it real hard," but "the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart." He added, "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."

Rock went on to say that the lack of nominations for actors of color was nothing new in the history of the Oscars, saying it happened "at least 71 other times."

Support for LAist comes from

"We had real things to protest [in the 50s and 60s]," said Rock. "We were too busy being raped and lynched to care who won Best Cinematographer. When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it's hard to care about the best documentary foreign short."

He also dipped his toes into the #BlackLivesMatter movement, saying, "This year, the 'In Memoriam' package is just going to be black people who were shot by cops on their way to the movies."

In concluding he stated, "You're damn right Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is sorority racist. 'We like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa,'" and called out for more roles and jobs for artists of color, saying, "We want opportunity."

Watch Chris Rock's monologue: