Chris Rock Kicks Off Monologue by Calling Oscars the "White People's Choice Awards"
The comedian and movie star did not pull punches as he addressed the lack of racial diversity among the nominees.
Chris Rock took no time putting the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in his crosshairs during the opening minutes of the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday night.
"I counted at least 15 black people in that montage," said the Saturday Night Live veteran, referencing the opening highlight reel featuring clips from several 2015 movies.
The host then jokingly referred to the Oscars as the "White People's Choice Awards."
For the vast majority of his monologue he lampooned the Oscars' — and Hollywood's — lack of diversity, at one point alluding to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. "This 'In Memoriam' package is just going to be black people shot by the police on their way to the movies," he quipped.
"If you want black nominees every year you need to have black categories ... like best black friend. 'And the winner for the 18th year in a row, is Wanda Sykes,'" he joked. "Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right Hollywood is racist. … Hollywood is sorority racist. It's like, 'We like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa!'"
Wrapping up his monologue and transition to the the first award, Rock said, "You want diversity, we got diversity! Please welcome Emily Blunt and somebody whiter — Charlize Theron!"