Chris Rock opened the 88th Academy Awards with a monologue that didn’t pull any punches when it came to diversity in the award show.
Here are the best quotes from Rock’s monologue.
“Man, I counted at least 15 black people in that montage,” said Rock.
“You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t get this job! You’d be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now,” said Rock.
“I thought about quitting. I thought about it really hard. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart,” said Rock.
“Why are we protesting this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this no black nominees thing happened 71 other times. You got to figure that it happened in the 50s, 60s. One of those years, Sidney Poitier didn’t put out a movie. … Black people didn’t protest, 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 you’re hanging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary short,” said Rock.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 29, 2016
“Everybody went mad [this year]. Jada [Pinkett Smith] 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,” said Rock.
“Is Hollywood racist? You got to go at that the right way. Is it burning cross racist? It’s a different type of racist. The other night, I was at a fundraiser for president Obama – a lot of you were there. There were four black people there: me, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, Questlove. The usual suspects. … At some point you get to take a picture with the president. I’m like, Mr. President, you see all these writers producers and actors, they don’t hire black people – and they’re the nicest white people on Earth. Cheese … You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, we like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa,” said Rock.
“I understand you’re mad. I’m not hating. … It’s not fair that Will Smith was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West. This year, things are going to be a little different. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the theater,” said Rock.
“We got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed; I call it Black Rocky. That’s an unbelievable statement, because Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes. Rocky is a science fiction movie. There are things that happened in Star Wars more believable than what happened in Rocky,” said Rock.
“If you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women. There’s no real reason for there 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 De Niro never said, ‘I should slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.’ If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories. Like best black friend. And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. It’s Wanda’s 18th black Oscars,” said Rock.
“We want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities. Not just once. Leo gets a great part every year. All you guys get great parts all the time. Jamie Foxx is one of the best actors in the world. Jamie Foxx is so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged Ray Charles,” said Rock.