Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello

Chris Rock takes on Oscars race row in opening monologue

IF THERE was any doubt Chris Rock would address the lack of diversity in this year's Oscars nominations, he dashed it in the first seconds of his opening speech.

Hosting the glittering awards for the second time, Rock joked about seeing "at least 15 black people" in the show's opening montage of the biggest films of the past year.

"Welcome to the 88th annual Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white people's choice awards," Rock said.

"If they nominated hosts I wouldn't even get this job. Ya'll would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now."

But he was also critical of actors who vowed to boycott the awards and those who urged him to quit as host.

"I thought about quitting; I thought about it real hard, but I thought they're going to have the Oscars anyway… and the last thing I need is to lose another  job to Kevin Hart," he said.

"Jada (Pinkett Smith) boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties; I wasn't invited."

After the first two awards were handed out Rock presented a comedy segment replacing some of the actors in this year's nominated films with African American actors including himself, Whoopi Goldberg and Tracy Morgan.


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