Chris Rock Hosts the Oscars: Grade His Race-Conscious Opening Monologue

Chris Rock Oscars 2016

Leave it to Chris Rock to not only address the elephant in the room, but to invite it to center stage and put it directly in the spotlight.

The comedian and Saturday Night Live alum opened his second Oscars hosting gig Sunday with a nod to the preponderance of white nominees, a situation known by the Twitter shorthand #Oscarssowhite.

“You realize, if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job!,” he quipped.

Rock stayed true to his take-no-prisoners stand-up style throughout the opener, offering up commentary on police violence and skewering the Hollywood elite for choosing not to show up. A few highlights:

* On why he didn’t boycott the Oscars on principle: “The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart!”

* Rock said that other years, black people didn’t protest the Oscars because they were “too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematographer. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign — Short.”

* “Jada [Pinkett-Smith] boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties — I wasn’t invited!”

* Rock also mocked the #askhermore movement to query women on the red carpet about more than their outfits; the comedian joked that the only reason men are asked more is that their looks are boring. “If George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux on and a swan coming out his ass, somebody would ask, ‘What’re you wearing, George?'”

Press PLAY on the video below to relive Rock’s performance, grade the host’s Oscars opening via the poll below, then hit the comments to expound upon your thoughts!


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