Monday, February 29, 2016

'Hollywood IS racist': Chris Rock skewers his Oscars audience and killer cops in rip-roaring monologue but saves his real scorn for the boycott brigade

Telling it like it is: Chris Rock tackled the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head on and did not shy away from the race row which dominated the run up to the Oscars

Chris Rock did not disappoint as he accused white dominated Hollywood of racism during the most eagerly anticipated opening monologue in recent history at the 88th Academy Awards.
Addressing the huge elephant in the room, the acid-tongued comedian, 51, compared Tinseltown to a bitchy racist sorority and jibbed at cops for killing black men as he riffed on the #OscarsSoWhite race row, which overshadowed this years ceremony.
'Is Hollywood racist? ... you're damn right,' said Rock to the audience in the Dolby Theater while he excoriated the film industry for its racial bias on the biggest night in show business.
Indeed, from almost his very first words to his last, Rock brutalized Hollywood for the lack of diversity, with the host finishing the entire ceremony by saying 'Black Lives Matter'



Rock and roll: Chris Rock took no prisoners during his scathing monologue as the comedian opened the 88th Academy Awards in LA on Sunday 
All eyes on Chris: The comedian tore into white dominated Hollywood - but also put this years race controversy into a historical perspective by referencing the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s
All eyes on Chris: The comedian tore into white dominated Hollywood - but also put this years race controversy into a historical perspective by referencing the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s
Skewered: Chris Rock addressed the Oscars race controversy during the opening monologue on Sunday night in LA
Skewered: Chris Rock addressed the Oscars race controversy during the opening monologue on Sunday night in LA
Black Lives Matter: Wrapping up the ceremony as the producers and cast of Spotlight celebrated winning the Best Picture Category, Rock said goodnight and repeated the civil rights movement rallying callĀ 
Black Lives Matter: Wrapping up the ceremony as the producers and cast of Spotlight celebrated winning the Best Picture Category, Rock said goodnight and repeated the civil rights movement rallying call 
'Everyone wants to know in the world, is Hollywood racist?' said Rock. 'Is it 'burning cross racist'? No. Is it 'fetch me some lemonade racist'? No. It's a different type of racist…. Hollywood is 'sorority racist.' It's like, we like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa.' 
He was referring, of course, to the fact that every acting nominee was white for the second year running, a development that led to the OscarsSoWhite backlash. 
However, despite his strong words for Hollywood, the white tuxedo-clad Rock held special opprobrium for Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith - deriding them for their much publicized boycott of the Oscars.
'It's not fair that Will Smith was this good in 'Concussion and didn't get nominated. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for 'Wild Wild West!', was one of Rock's first zingers aimed at the Hollywood power couple.
He then launched into a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, so lewd that some who heard it beforehand thought he wouldn't use it at the primetime ceremony.
'What happened this year? Jada's going to boycott the Oscars,' said Rock.
'Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. 
'I wasn't invited! 
'It's not an invitation I would turn down.'

Skewered: Chris Rock made Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith the butt of his most pointed jokes during his monlogue - mocking them for their boycott of the Oscars
Skewered: Chris Rock made Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith the butt of his most pointed jokes during his monlogue - mocking them for their boycott of the Oscars
Plain speaking: The comedian - who has presented the Oscars once before - told Hollywood it has a duty to offer black actors the same opportunities as white ones
Plain speaking: The comedian - who has presented the Oscars once before - told Hollywood it has a duty to offer black actors the same opportunities as white ones
Rock transformed a glittering awards show long known for self-reverential pomp into a 3 1/2-hour live ABC telecast punctuated by withering satire riffing on issues of inclusion and diversity raised by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign and the Black Lives Matter movement. 
Dubbing the Oscars the 'White People's Choice' awards, Rock immediately launched headfirst into the controversy by saying 'I counted at least 15 black people on that montage,' after he hit the stage to start the show following clips from this year's films.
From that moment on, it was clear Rock would be pulling no punches, and that his no-holds-barred message could help the film Academy come to grips with its diversity problem. 
'You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. You'd be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now,' said Rock as a loosener for the star-studded crowd.
Rock then went on to question what was different about now, about today and why this controversy had blown up.
'It's the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times,' said the 51-year-old.
Speculating on why the furor over diversity in the industry had taken root this year, rather than in the 1950s or 1960s, Rock said black Americans had bigger issues to worry about then.
'Because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.'
'When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it's really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.' 
Rock did not confine his barbs to Hollywood alone. He drew one of his biggest laughs joking that the Oscars' annual 'in-memorium' montage tribute to deceased film luminaries would instead be devoted to 'black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.'

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