OscarsSoWhite: Chris Rock hammers diversity issue in monologue

Oscars host Chris Rock came out swinging like Adonis Creed in his opening monologue, delivering a few knockout punches to the Academy for the lack of diversity among its nominees.

See Full Article

"Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right Hollywood's racist," Rock said. He went on to differentiate the kind of racism in Hollywood, saying that it's not "burning cross" or "fetch me some lemonade" racist – just "sorority racist."

Rock also declared the Oscars the "White People's Choice Awards," saying: "If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job."

The comedian took no prisoners in his monologue, lashing out at the Academy, the movie industry and even the black actors who chose to boycott the awards show, like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

He also defended his choice not to step down as Oscars host, after many called for him to do so in solidarity with the #OscarsSoWhite boycott.

Rock pointed out that there have been many years without a black actor nominated at the Oscars, but in in the past, black people "had real things to protest at the time.

"We was too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When your grandmother's swinging from a tree, it's really hard to care about best documentary foreign short."

Rock called for Hollywood to create more roles for black actors, so they could have more chances to showcase their talents.

In a video montage spoofing this year's Best Picture nominees, Rock and a handful of other black actors mocked how those films might have been different with a black actor in a key role.

Rock hinted at tackling the diversity issue in tweets he sent out ahead of his Oscar hosting appearance. On Jan. 15, Rock tweeted an ABC promo video for the Oscars, with the caption: "The Oscars. The white BET Awards."

The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.https://t.co/8qjLR0uysI

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) January 15, 2016

And on Friday, he tweeted a video of television static, along with the hashtag #blackout.

See you Sunday... #blackout#oscarspic.twitter.com/ZIoG9XqGpl

— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 26, 2016

Several prominent individuals in Hollywood, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, opted to boycott the show to protest its lack of diversity among nominees.

In a red carpet interview before the show, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said her organization has been working for a while to promote diversity within its ranks. "We have been having these discussions and pulling together these initiatives for a while now," she told ABC. "We are going to continue to take action and not just speak."

Kerry Washington defended her choice to present at the show, while insisting she sympathizes with those who chose to boycott it.

"I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight. I really get it," Washington said, in a red carpet interview. She went on to say she'd prefer to be part of the diversity conversation, in order to help affect positive change. "I really want to be part of the conversation to make sure that there's institutional change so that we never have a year like this again, so that we can be as inclusive as possible," she said.

Mark Ruffalo also addressed the controversy before the show, saying it's up to Hollywood "liberals" to bring the issue to light. "That's a real issue and I think its time for our country to have this discussion in an earnest way," he said. "It's happening in the criminal justice system, in the education system – it should be happening here in Hollywood."

Though not at the show, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton added her own voice to the #OscarsSoWhite outcry.

Too much talent is being kept on the sidelines. In every industry, we can do and need to do better. https://t.co/DltAsnePpz

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 28, 2016


Latest Entertainment News

  • Canadian rock band Arkells organizes concert to benefit refugees

    Entertainment CTV News
    Still flying high from their trip to South Korea to perform in front of Team Canada during the Winter Games, the Arkells are now excited to do something for newcomers in the city where the band formed. Source
  • 'N Sync to reunite to receive star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - 'N Sync is finally reuniting -- but not for new music or a tour. The boy band will earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30. Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpartrick will attend the event. Source
  • Review adds pressure to Weinstein investigation

    Entertainment CTV News
    New York's governor put unusual -- and potentially problematic -- pressure on Manhattan's district attorney to bring a criminal case against Harvey Weinstein this week when he ordered the state's attorney general to investigate the prosecutor's handling of an earlier sex abuse probe involving the film producer, legal experts said. Source
  • Appeals court sides with Marvin Gaye's family in Blurred Lines legal battle

    Entertainment CBC News
    A federal appeals court upheld a copyright infringement verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the 2013 hit song Blurred Lines. In a split decision from a three-judge panel, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday awarded $5.3 million US to the family of Marvin Gaye, who said Blurred Lines illegally copied from the late soul singer's Got to Give it Up. Source
  • Britney Spears lands 1st high fashion campaign with Kenzo

    Entertainment CTV News
    PARIS -- Britney Spears has landed her first high fashion modelling campaign as the new face of Paris-based Kenzo. The 36-year-old singer said she had been waiting for the "right fit and the right opportunity" to represent a luxury brand. Source
  • The Weeknd, Bruno Mars to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago

    Entertainment CTV News
    CHICAGO -- The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will headline this year's Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Travis Scott, The National, Vampire Weekend and Odesza also were among the performers announced Wednesday morning on Lollapalooza's website . Source
  • Jimmy Kimmel brings Katie Couric to his colonoscopy

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES - Jimmy Kimmel's audience got to see more of the host than usual when he had his first colonoscopy. The talk show host brought Katie Couric along for the test, which aired on Tuesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live. Source
  • Chrissy Metz writes about struggles, triumph in new memoir

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - "This Is Us" star Chrissy Metz writes about her early struggles with weight and poverty and her later success as an actress in her new memoir. In an excerpt from the book "This Is Me," appearing in the April 2 "People" magazine, the 37-year-old describes growing up poor and overweight in Florida. Source
  • Judd Apatow memorializes mentor Garry Shandling

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - After Garry Shandling died two years ago, his longtime friend Judd Apatow went through emails he and the comedian had recently shared. Then he started bawling. "I realized that every single time I asked him for anything or wanted him to come to some event or to read something for me, he said 'yes' every single time," said Apatow. Source
  • 'This level of honour just blows my mind:' Run-DMC, Gloria Estefan songs join U.S. recording registry

    Entertainment CBC News
    Songs performed by Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan and Run-DMC are among 25 recordings being added to the National Recording Registry. The Library of Congress announced on Wednesday the list of titles being honoured for their cultural and historic importance to the American soundscape. Source