Silence. Oscars 2016 host Chris Rock brought controversial Fox News contributor Stacey Dash on stage for a cameo on Sunday, February 28, where she wished the attendees a “Happy Black History Month.” However, the moment fell flat both on screen and inside the Dolby Theatre.
Rock, who was on a high after delivering his well-received opening monologue (which addressed and nailed the #OscarsSoWhite controversy), brought out one of the most criticized voices of the ongoing minority debate.
“The Academy has taken steps to fix this problem and that is why it is my honor to introduce the director of our new minority outreach program,” Rock announced to the audience. “Please welcome, Ms. Stacey Dash!”
While Dash, 49, was greeted by sparse applause, it was her next line that resulted in an incredibly awkward response from the star-studded audience.
“I cannot wait to help my people out,” Dash said on stage. “Happy Black History Month!”
A source inside tells Us Weekly that Dash’s joke “totally fell flat.” Adds the observer: “No one laughed or applauded when she came out and people around me in the audience were saying, ‘Huh?'”
Dash incited huge backlash last month when she declared on Fox & Friends that her response to the Oscars controversy would be eliminating the BET Awards and Black History Month. “I think it’s ludicrous,” the Clueless star said on the morning show. “We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way around, we’d be up in arms. It’s a double standard.”
Ultimately, the BET network replied, as did many of Dash’s opponents. BET published a slideshow the same day Dash made her comments on Fox & Friends, and called out the star for her many previous controversial remarks. “She thinks there needs to be a white history month too, since, you know, our ancestors apparently fought for nothing,” the network captioned one pic of Dash. “Clueless indeed.”
While many viewers were confused about Dash on Sunday, the ’90s actress took to her blog to address her appearance on stage. “Which brings me to the joke,” she wrote in a post published moments after her live appearance. “When they added ME to increase the diversity, I’m sure many black people rolled their eyes. I’m not ‘black enough,’ they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life. I would rather be a free thinking, black than a cookie cutter black who thinks – and votes – just like all my friends.”
Watch her awkward appearance above.
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