As host of the 88th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, actor Chris Rock tackled diversity in Hollywood, delivering a stinging monologue.
“It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. O.K.?” he said, according to a transcript published in The New York Times.
“You gotta figure that it happened in the 50s, in the 60s — you know, in the 60s, one of those years Sidney didn’t put out a movie,” he said. “I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years. Say ‘62 or ‘63, and black people did not protest.
“Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time, you know? We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer.
“You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”
Actress Stacey Dash made a surprise appearance on stage following Rock’s monologue when he introduced her as “the director of diversity outreach.”
The joke came after Dash, an actress and Fox News pundit, was roundly condemned last month for making negative comments about Black History Month and Black-oriented television networks.
From the Washington Post:
“I cannot wait to help my people out,” [Dash], best known for her role as Dionne in the film and television versions of “Clueless,” told the audience. “Happy Black History Month.”
It was clear from both audience and Twitter reaction that not everyone recognized Dash, but the reaction was pretty unanimous: The joke fell very flat.
What did you think about Rock’s monologue? Sound off in comments.