Oh, Chris Rock.
Of course you would dig right in and go for the throat.
It could have been a very uncomfortable topic, the lack of black nominees and the resulting protest, and it started out strong. It got a little bit strained at the end, but it ended just as the laughter was beginning to die.
He asked good questions. Why this Oscars? The whole no-black thing happened at least 71 other times. “Black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time.”
“We were too busy being raped or lynched to care about who won best cinematographer. When you’re grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary short,” Rock continued.
He noted everyone went mad, and even Jada Pinkett boycotted the Oscars, but she wasn’t even invited.
Sure, he said, she was upset her man, Will Smith, wasn’t nominated for Best Actor for Concussion, but “it’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.”
Rock said this year’s In Memoriam would be black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. “Yes, I said it,” he declared.
It’s when he dared to ask if Hollywood was racist and the answer was yes, the liberals are what he calls “Sorority Racist,” that the crowd started to die down in their enthusiasm for his speech. “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
Rock followed up with some shouts out for actors he likes including the very white Paul Giamatti, and Jamie Foxx, who’s so good, Rock noted that they pulled the plug on the real Ray Charles because they didn’t need two of them anymore.
The first award, for Original Screenplay, kicked off the night. While Straight Outta Compton was nominated, it did not win.