Chris Rock left no one comfortable during his opening monologue at the 88th Academy Awards. Whether addressing the #OscarssoWhite controversy directly or reiterating why Black actors need equal opportunities in Hollywood, the ESSENCE March cover star left no stone unturned. Here are 15 lines that still have us talking.
1. “I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise know as White People's Choice Awards.”
2. “If they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. Y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”
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3. “People were like, ‘Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit.’ How come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something? No one with a job ever tells you to quit.”
4. “I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard but I realized, they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway. They’re not gonna cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”
5. “Why are we protesting this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no-Black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times.”
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6. “Black people did not protest [in the 60s] because we had real things to care about… Too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best cinematographer.”
7. “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best documentary, Foreign short.”
8. “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties; I wasn’t invited.” Ouch!
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9. “I get it, Jada’s mad her man Will wasn’t nominated for Concussion. I get it. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild, Wild West.”
10. “This year things are gonna be a little different at the Oscars. This year, the In Memoriam package is just gonna be Black people shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”
11. “If you want Black people at the Oscars every year, just have Black categories like “Best Black friend.’ And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes.”
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12. “Is Hollywood racist? You damn right Hollywood’s racist.”
13. “Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, ‘We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
14. On Creed: “Rocky takes place in a world where White athletes are as good as Black athletes. Rocky's a science fiction movie. There’s things that happen in Star Wars that are more believable than things that happen in Rocky.”
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15. “It’s not about boycotting anything, it’s just that we want opportunity. We want Black actors to get the same opportunities.”
What did you think of the Oscars tonight?