Chris Rock hits Oscars diversity issue in speech

Posted at 7:25 PM, Feb 28, 2016

The question on everyone's mind heading into the 2016 Oscars was how Chris Rock would open the show.

Before the show began, Rock tweeted, "Cutting the fat off my monologue." Then when he came out, he did not hold back.

After a montage of movies was shown, Rock opened the show by joking, "I counted at least 15 black people on that montage ... You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job, you'd all be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now." 

Rock's unique mix of humor and seriousness continued as he said, "No black nominees, people are like, 'Chris you should boycott' ... How come it's only unemployed people who tell you to quit? I thought about quitting ... [but] they are not going to cancel the Oscars 'cause I quit. The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."

The host then said in 88 years of Oscars, there had to be at least "71 other years" there were no black acting nominees.

"Black people did not protest [in the '60s]. Why? 'Cause we had real things to protest at the time," Rock said, also addressing Will Smith's snub for "Concussion."

"It's not fair Will was this good and didn't get nominated. It's also not fair Will was paid $20 million for 'Wild Wild West,'" he said.

"Is Hollywood racist? ... you're damn right," he continued, saying it's a different type of racism.

"Hollywood is sorority racist, we like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa."

He closed his monologue by saying, "It's not about boycotting anything, we want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors."

The reason for all the suspense was the lack of interviews that Rock, 51, did leading up to the big night.

That may or may not have been associated with the controversy over lack of diversity among this year's acting nominees.

No actor or actress of color was nominated in the four main categories, including Best Actor and Actress.

Rock teased fans ahead of today's show, tweeting on Friday, "See you Sunday... #blackout #oscars" along with a video of a static-filled screen.