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Wednesday 18 October 2017

WATCH: 'You're damn right Hollywood is racist' - Chris Rock addresses #OscarsSoWhite in opening speech

Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Comedian Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Oscars host Chris Rock didn't pull any punches when it came to addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

With dozens of actors boycotting this year's Academy Awards over arguments of diversity in Hollywood, Rock opened the show with a no holds barred speech.

"Why this Oscars? It's the 88th Academy Awards, which means there's been no black nominees - this has happened at least 71 other times. You've got to figure it happened in the '50s and '60s," he said.

"In the '60s, one of those years, Sydney didn't put out a movie and black people didn't protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time.

Comedian Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Comedian Chris Rock hosts the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

"We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematography. When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it's really hard to care about who won Best Documentary Foreign Short.

"What happened this year? People went mad."

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith announced publicly she would not be attending the ceremony, while Spike Lee also said he would be boycotting.

"Jada got mad. Jada said she's not coming. Isn't she on a tv show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties - I wasn't invited. That's not an invitation I would turn down," Rock added.

"I'm not hating. Her man wasn't nominated for Concussion. It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20m for Wild Wild West.

"This year, the Oscars will be a little different. In the 'In Memoriam' package, it's just going to be black people shot by the cops on the way to the movies."

"Yes, I said it. If you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories.

"You already do it with men and women. Think about it, there's no real reason to be a man and a woman category in acting. There's no reason. It's not track and field.

"You don't have to separate them. Robert DeNiro never said, 'I better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.

"Here's the real question everybody wants to know, 'Is Hollywood racist?' You've got to go at that at the right way. Is it burning cross racist? No. Fetch me lemonade racist? No. It's a different type of racist."

Rock then added that Hollywood is a different type of racist, saying:"You're damn  right they're racist, not the racist you've grown accustomed to. They're sorority racist. It's like, 'We like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa'. That's how Hollywood is.

"Things are changing. We got a black Rocky this year, some people call it Creed, I call it Black Rocky. Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes, so Rocky is a science fiction movie. There are things that happened in Star Wars that are more believable than Rocky.

"We want opportunity -  we want black actors to get the same opportunities, that's it. Not just once. Leo gets a great part every year, all you guys get great parts all the time. What about the black actors?"

‘Jada boycotting Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.’ – Chris Rock’s Oscar monologue best bits 

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