During the 2016 Oscars on Sunday, February 28, show host Chris Rock kicked off the ceremony with a hilarious and extremely timely opening monologue. His jokes perfectly addressed this year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy and had the entire Dolby Theatre laughing out loud.
The funnyman, 51, made jabs at stars such as Academy Awards boycotter Jada Pinkett Smith and fellow comedian Kevin Hart — and even threw in a wisecrack about Rihanna’s underwear. Below, read his LOL-worthy speech from the awards show in its entirety:
“Man, I counted at least 15 black people on that montage. I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards. You realize, if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. Y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now. …
This is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host because of all this controversy. There are no black nominees. People are like ‘Chris, you should boycott, Chris you should quit. You should quit.’ How come there’s only unemployed people to tell you to quit something? No one with a job ever tells you to quit.
I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. They’re going to have the Oscars anyway. But I realized they’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit, the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart. I don’t need that. … Kev makes movies fast. Porno stars don’t make movies that fast.
Now the thing is, why are we protesting? That’s the big question, why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole ‘no black nominees’ thing has happened at least 71 other times. You got to figure that it happened in the ’50s in the ’60s, you know in the ’60s one of those years Sidney [Poitier] didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees one of those years and black people did not protest.
Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. Too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When your grandmother is swinging from the tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign Short.
But what happened this year? People went mad. Spike Lee went mad. … Jada Pinkett Smith went mad. Will Smith went mad. Everyone went mad. Jada said she’s not coming, protesting. 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. But I understand. I understand you’re mad – Jada’s mad her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it. Tell the truth. I get it. It’s not fair that Will 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 at the Oscars. This year in the memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, I said it.
If you want black nominees every year, you need to have black categories. That’s what you need. … You already do it with men and women. Think about it. There’s no real reason for there to be a men and women category in acting. … It’s not track and field. You don’t have to separate them. Robert De Niro never said, ‘I better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up.’ No. Not at all man. 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. This is Wanda’s 18th black Oscar.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!