Featured, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Chris Rock Was Really Bad Last Night, And The #OscarsSoWhite Skits Were Even Worse

I’ve started and stopped writing this three times already; scribbling a few sentences out and deleting them as soon as I was finished typing them. Because, as the title suggests, I am going to talk about how bad Chris Rock was at the Oscars last night, and how bad the #OscarsSoWhite skits were — skits I assume he had a major hand in writing. But I love Chris Rock. He isn’t just one of my favorite comedians. He might be my favorite celebrity, and I thought he was the perfect choice to satire, scold, and skewer Hollywood’s pronounced and (arguably) intentional cluelessness in regards to race. And this, that he missed the mark so many times, is not something I anticipated writing and have much desire to write.

But he was bad. Shockingly, consistently, and disappointingly bad. So bad that I wished he hadn’t hosted and just continued existing in his current state as a stand-up emeritus who occasionally appears on talk shows and in Vulture to provide pithy insights about Hollywood and tell White people about themselves.

Also, before I get into why last night was particularly bad, I want to establish that bad in this sense doesn’t necessary mean “not funny.” He wasn’t bad because he was unfunny. Because he was funny. As were some of the skits. But, in this context, being funny isn’t as vital as where the funny is mined from and who the funny is crafted for.

Anyway, Chris Rock began his approximately 10-minute-long monologue with a couple relatively tepid jokes about the Whiteness of the Oscars. (ht to Jezebel for the script to the monologue)

Well, I’m here at the Academy Awards. Otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards. You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. Y’all be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.

Which, I thought then, were great indicators of the direction he’d take. “Ok,” I thought. “These are the warm-ups. He’s building up to the stronger shit.” And I was right. He did follow with stronger jokes. But they were all jokes on and about Black people. 

Here’s a dig that implies that the Black people asking him to boycott had no place to talk because they weren’t invited anyway.

And people are like, Chris, you should boycott, Chris, you should quit, you should quit.

You know, how come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something, you know? No one with a job ever tells you to quit.

It’s followed with one about Kevin Hart’s prolificness. Also, this was the first time I laughed.

And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart. Okay? I don’t need that. Kev — Kev right there. Kev make movies fast. Every month. Porno stars don’t make movies that fast

And then, we make it to the meat of the monologue, where Rock shares his true opinion about this all. It sucks that the Oscars aren’t very inclusive. But, ultimately, it’s not that big of a deal.

It’s the 88th Academy Awards. It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means — this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. Okay? You got to 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. I’m sure — 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 have real things to protest at the time. You know? We have real things to protest. You know? Too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematographer. You know, when you — when your Grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign Short.

Now, nothing he’s saying here is wrong. At least in terms of the degree of the danger Black Americans faced in the 50s and 60s compared to today, and how that can affect what we decided to devote our collective attention to.

But this is a point you make at happy hour. Or at the barbershop. Or at game night. Or in EBONY Magazine. Or here at VSB. You don’t, however, stand in front of a room full of the exact people responsible for the lack of diversity, and let them off the hook by ultimately asserting this is much ado about nothing.

And to further the idea that we (Black people) just need to get over ourselves, he continues with another (admittedly good) joke about another Black person who isn’t even there.

Jada got mad, Jada says she’s not coming, protesting, I’m like — doesn’t she have a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.

Again, this is a great barbershop joke. But context and situation matters. And it’s surprisingly tone deaf be in a room full of the people responsible for the lack of representation and aim your strongest joke at a Black woman who’s fighting for Black representation.

He followed with another great line that jabs at America and White American racism, but still leaves White Hollywood off the hook.

You know, this year, the Oscars, things are going to be a little different. Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memorium package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot on their way to the movies. Yes. Yes. I said it. All right?

And then more jokes about Black people.

If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories, like Best Black Friend.

That’s right. “And the winner for the 18th year in a row is Wanda Sykes. This is Wanda’s 18th Black Oscar.”

And then, finally, he goes in on the type of White liberals who wield power in Hollywood.

Now, I remember one night I was at a fundraiser for President Obama, a lot of you were there, and, you know, it’s me and all of Hollywood. And all the, you know, it’s all of us there and there’s about four black people there, me, let’s see, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, Questlove, you know, the usual suspects, right? And every black actor that wasn’t working. Needless to say, Kevin Hart was not there, okay? So, at some point, you get to take a picture with the President.

And as they’re setting up the picture, you get a little moment with the president, I’m like, “Mr. President, you see all these writers and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people. And they’re the nicest white people on earth. They’re liberals.” CHEESE.

That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist. But it isn’t the racist you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like — “We like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.” That’s how Hollywood is.

After listening to the first half the monologue, where the jokes had much more bite and were centered on Black people, this felt like a perfunctory finger-wag. A scold with intentionally lukewarm water. Which is how the rest of the night went. Yes, he did pepper the night with some legitimately pointed and witty race-based commentary. This line about Jamie Foxx toward the end of his monologue, for instance.

All you guys get great parts all the time.

But what about the black actors? Look at Jamie Foxx. Jamie Foxx, one of the best actors in the world, man. Jamie foxx — he is. Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray, that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles, like, we don’t need two of these. No, man.

But between his words and the skits — particularly the remarkably and terribly unfunny segment inserting Black comedians in this year’s Oscar nominated movies and the funny but somewhat out of place man-on-the-street bit interviewing Black patrons at a Compton theater — the humor was more “allow the audience to laugh at the absurdity of Black people asked about or placed in ‘White’ movies” than “pick at, poke, and prod the audience.” For a man who’s made his career creating consistently insightful and painful “ouch” moments, this night was conspicuously devoid of them. It was the type of humor to make White Hollywood think “LOL…he’s really giving it to us” instead of actually giving it to them.

And maybe Rock’s White Hollywood specific jokes lacked so much bite because, at this point in his career, he’s Hollywood too. He’s as rich and famous as most of the people in that room last night. And while I think his heart was in the right place, I can imagine it being difficult to effectively skewer the establishment when you’re a part of it.

Let me put this way: The 1996 Chris Rock would have known that bringing Stacey Dash on stage as the punchline for an extended joke would have had one of two reactions:

1. “I don’t get it.

2. “Yeah, I get it, but it’s not very funny.

The 2016 Chris Rock, however, thought it would be.

I spent much of the night shifting attention between the Oscars and the #JusticeForFlint live stream; MC-ed by professional giver of negative infinity fucks Hannibal Buress. And while Chris Rock is my favorite comedian of all-time, I couldn’t help but wonder if Buress would have been a better choice right now, in 2016, for the type of commentary I anticipated. But he’d never, ever, ever, ever get invited to host the Oscars.

Which, I guess, is the point.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • DBoySlim

    Chris Rock was a bit wooden on the stage last night. I was hoping for a more aggressive approach because White Hollywood was let off the hook.

    • LeeLee

      He looked a little nervous to me.

      • miss t-lee

        He was in the first parts of the monologue. He got smoother as the night went along.

    • KNeale

      I think the joke about all the black people that got shot on the way to the movies was a prime example of letting the whiteys off the hook. Because I’m sure the people in the room were like “haha, this has nothing to do with me. isn’t that bad though! but yeah like i said nothing to do with me. im the good kind!”

  • Vanity in Peril

    And again America ridicules black women and everyone just laughs. Jada was invited, her boycott meant something even if Will’s accent was suspect. I was going to watch but was nervous Rock would sell us out. He did. And Asians.

    Fight the power, indeed.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      No. Not this time. Jada did it to herself. Prior to her Oscars Boycott, ol girl continuously and deliberately shi tted on movements aimed at black progression. We’re talking about the same woman who recklessly overshadowed “Black Girls Rock” with “All Girls Rock” commentary. The one night black girls got to be the center attraction (as opposed to the token or witty sidekick), Mrs. Pinkett Smith decided to ruin it. Let’s not forget about her bogus suggestion that placing white actresses on the covers of the few black publications that exist is somehow a remedy for the lack of black actresses on white publications. And please don’t get me started on her and Will’s Webster dictionary-fueled, 5th grade dissertation on how racism and discrimination are not the same. B—- please. As if racism is not a form of discrimination. No. Mrs. Pinkett Smith was out of line this time. Her attempt to capitalize on a black movement she previously dismissed was manipulative and corny.

      • miss t-lee

        He pretty much said the same thing that Aunt Viv 1.0 said on her viral video a few weeks back.

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        “Her attempt was completely self-serving and that took credibility away from the movement.”

        Exactly

      • KNeale

        Whoa!! I never heard about this type of foolishness from Jada. Receipts? It’s not even that I’m doubting you. I just want to see for myself cuz I need something to be mad about. Lol.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Google it, baby. Google it: “Jada and all girls rock.” “Jada and white women on essence cover” or “Jada and Charlize Theron.” & “Will Smith and racism rare” (he mentions Jada in the interview)

      • she so was the wrong person. zero credibility.

      • mssporadic

        Will and Jada bought into the notion that they were accepted by the establishment; when he didn’t get nominated that was very eye-opening for them. Hollywood Reporter does these “Close Up” episodes on Sundance with Emmy and Oscar contenders. The epi with Will and Sam Jackson was quite interesting. Something about Sam being there made it easier for me to smell Will’s BS (and uber-hurt feelings about the Oscar snub).

      • Cleojonz

        She was not wrong to mention the problem with the Oscars, but it definitely fell flat because we could all see what her real motivation was. If it came from anybody else it would have been a better received movement/argument.

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Absolutely.

      • Vanity in Peril

        I’m not talking about the messager.

  • I’m a die hard Chris Rock fan. I am NEVER leaving his island. I’m not even buying luggage. I think his monologue was excellent. He called Hollywood Racist. Live…………. I don’t believe Hannibal…or anybody else could have effectively called them racist quite so delightfully. I don’t think there are very many human beings on the planet quite as courageous as him. His current and past bravery….in my opinion….is soooo undeniable.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      The nuance of it’s sorority like was spot on. Once you’re in the club, you can always get work or have your work nominated for something.

      • PaddyfotePrincess

        “Rhonda we like you, but you’ll never be a Kappa.”

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Idris we like you but you will never play James Bond

          • Quirlygirly

            and BOOM goes the dynamite!

          • Good One!!!!

          • KMN

            Sir I need you to email me…I have some sweets to discuss lol…you still have my addy?

            • Sigma_Since 93

              I do. I’ll send you an email in 3 minutes.

              • KMN

                thanks because I couldn’t find yours to save my life lol

              • Sigma_Since 93

                sent

              • Sahel

                3 mins huh

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  Road Block!!!! Who is the Bush?

    • I’ve never seen any of Hannibal’s work. Is he funny?

      • He is funny. But I think Chris is smarter. And I’m biased.

      • miss t-lee

        He’s alright. I can only take him in small doses.

        • niksmit

          Yeah, I saw him open for Chappelle a few years ago and I was like I like him. I want to see more. I watched one of his standup films on Netflix the other day and I was like, mkaaaaay. I’ve had enough. He needs to tighten up to be consistently funny through a full set.

          • miss t-lee

            Maybe that’s it. I don’t find him funny enough to carry an entire set…lol

            • Jennifer

              I’ve watched his comedy specials, but I have to stop after 10-15 minutes. I can only watch in small doses.

      • KB

        He’s ok. I’ve listened to a couple of his stand ups and they were aight at best. I think a good portion of the attention he’s been getting lately is due to the fact that he is the one credited with outing/exposing Bill Cosby.

      • kenyadigit

        His new special on netflix is not that great. He seemed off. Animal Furness was great tho, also on netflix.

        • Jennifer

          …or high. IJS.

      • Cleojonz

        He’s really not. He tries too hard. He only gets any shine because he was the one who truly put the spotlight on Cosby’s behavior.

      • Solomon Grundy

        his comedy ain’t for everyone. I always thought he was sarcastic funny. I’ve been checking for him since I first saw him on 30 Rock.

      • He is very 1 note.

  • miss t-lee

    My favorite part was his man on the street interviews with actual folks at the movie theatre. That was a great bit. Mainly because it was real as f*ck. Most of us ain’t seen most of those movies nominated, unless you’re a huge movie buff. That bit reflected that.
    I wasn’t a fan of the Jada joke, or the “real things to protest” bit. I guess he did clean it up when he shouted “Black Lives Matter” at the end.
    Most folks seem to be upset with “barbershop jokes” out in from of the white folks. Not just talking about you Champie, but that seems to be tone of most of outrage I’m reading. Apparently, they’d just be okay, among us? Can’t say that I agree with that.
    However, I’m sure he won’t be back. The way he hosted it, kinda showed that he didn’t expect to be asked back.

    • I love this.

      • AnswerMe

        Me too.

      • miss t-lee

        Thx y’all.

    • PaddyfotePrincess

      A couple of things he said were a bit unpleasant and uncomfortable for many in the audience, but that’s always been his style.

      I appreciate him for calling out Hollywood’s racism and the fact that we want the opportunity to have quality roles just like everyone else. I also loved the entrance and exit to “Fight the Power.”

      Spike Lee faced a similar dilemma with “School Daze” and was accused of airing our dirty laundry in front of company.

      • miss t-lee

        “A couple of things he said were a bit unpleasant and uncomfortable for many in the audience, but that’s always been his style.”

        I felt the same way about this.

      • KNeale

        So I agree that black people have a hard time with calling out intracommunity stuff without being (unjustly) called a traitor, but I don’t think this is what happened here. Saying nobody boycotted the Oscars in the 50s and 60s because we had real stuff to worry about was not that, in my opinion. It was him letting the white people in the room off the hook and belittling the protest.

        • Quirlygirly

          I don’t know if I would say he let them off the hook with that joke. I took it like we couldn’t protest because your cousins was hanging my family members from trees while you all sat in a room in your Sunday’s best smiling and acting like nothing is happening.

          • KNeale

            Ok I’m going to go back and watch a clip cuz my interpretation might just be off.

          • “We couldn’t protest because your cousins was hanging my family members from trees while you all sat in a room in your Sunday’s best smiling and acting like nothing is happening”

            YES! This is what I think he meant as well. And I think it is AMAZING homeboy said that. In front of everybody at the job. The job on international television.

            • Jay Howard Gatsby

              in front of people who don’t look like us.

              and maybe, MAYBE Chris meant to remind white folks of the Black struggle. Maybe he genuinely did. But what he meant =/= how it was received. And how it was received was, “There are other things to protest & complain about.”

              • Winn

                Not to mention, it’s not even accurate. There WERE Oscar protests in the 50’s and 60’s from the NAACP and other groups, about the same damn issues as today. Rock needs to check his history.

              • That wasn’t how it was received? Did you take a survey?

                • Jay Howard Gatsby

                  lol I’m saying I don’t know, that that was his intent for it to be taken that way.

                  • I’m sure he will speak further on it soon. I hope he does at least.

                    • Jay Howard Gatsby

                      If Black Jesus loves us, YES, Chris Rock will put in a stand up before Kevin Hart does.

                      and if not in a stand up, for sure, in somebody’s magazine. I’ve noticed his magazine interviews have been a lot more blunt (see Variety, Vulture).

                    • AMEN!

                  • He definitely has NEW material for his next special!!!

          • occupiesthethrone

            What I don’t like is that it implies people are boycotting now because “that type of thing doesn’t happen anymore”, while a black person is getting executed by the police damn near every day. We’re STILL getting murdered in the streets, and that joke came off to me like everything is hunky dory now, so black folks are looking for things to complain about.

            • Quirlygirly

              I agree with you a bit but I think there is more of a voice, especially with social media being as big as it is. So there is the opportunity to do both- worry about dead loved ones either from lynching or poisoning(#JusticeForFlint) and boycott the oscars.

          • Solomon Grundy

            i agree

        • PaddyfotePrincess

          I didn’t perceive it as a slight to the boycott. I took it more as a “let me refresh your memory or school you as to how we got to this point.”

      • brownstocking

        Interesting point. I don’t think he was nearly as subversive or “in-your-face” as others do, but that’s “eye of the beholder.”

        I think both Rock and Lee have a similar penchant for misogyny, too, that gets ignored or downplayed, and it hasn’t been brought up that much in critiques and reviews.

    • Cleojonz

      That was really the only bit I thought was truly funny, the man on the street bit. Chris Rock is unfunny more often than he is actually funny. I agree though, that he put enough in your face stuff in his hosting duties that he’s not expecting to ever be asked back again.

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah, the other bits weren’t funny to me. The interviews at the theatre though? Gold.
        The lady that said, “that’s a real movie?” I was dying…sounded just like what I said when I heard some of those titles…lol

        And yeah…I think he did what he could. Was it enough? No. However, it was something.

        • Cleojonz

          I have always hated his delivery too. Why is he shouting his jokes at us?

          That lady asking if it was a real movie was the best. “Nah you are just messing with me.” Laughs for days.

          • miss t-lee

            YESSSSS. She was not buying it!

    • cakes_and_pies

      It’s fine among us, but the Wypipo start inquiring and writing think pieces about what they *think* they understand. That’s how kale got gentrified. We didn’t talk among ourselves…

      • miss t-lee

        “It’s fine among us, but the Wypipo start inquiring and writing think pieces about what they *think* they understand.”

        Ehhhh.
        They’re gonna do that anyway. They do that now.

    • Dougie

      I also liked the man on the street interviews. IDK if it resonated everywhere or widely took on the same brain space that it did with me, but it gave a microcosm of proof that we live in different America’s. I can see how a white person can look at it and say “oh those silly black people”, but I saw it and agreed with the majority of those silly black people. I haven’t seen a lot of those movies, and don’t have a yearning to. I think that bit was the most important part of the Oscars. If anyone really wants to create a change in Hollywood, they need to know what people who don’t look like, live with, or act like them; actually enjoy.

      It ain’t Mad Max.

      • miss t-lee

        YES.
        You articulated it better than I could earlier.

        * I did like Mad Max though…lol

        • Dougie

          hahaha, I didn’t even see Mad Max. And I know shorty that thought Chris Rock was making up the names didn’t either lol

          • miss t-lee

            Hahahaha.
            We saw it for a work event. If It was my own dime…I’m not sure if I would have went out the way to do so.

      • Jacqueline

        But what confounds me is that it has been said that we make up 47% of movie goers. 47%. That is Bus Boycott power. Maybe it is time to boycott the movies…period.

        I rarely go to the movies because I think most of it is fluff….but those who do could use their send a really strong message.

        • Jennifer

          “But what confounds me is that it has been said that we make up 47% of movie goers. 47%.

          I have a white coworker/movie nerd who doesn’t believe this figure. He thinks this ish is about meritocracy and that our movies aren’t made because they’re aren’t successful. I’m trying to find an article with the stat so I can laugh in his face. I don’t like to let a week pass without doing that at least once.

          • Cube

            http://www.mpaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/MPAA-Theatrical-Market-Statistics-2014.pdf

            Actually, Hispanics are the only ones punching above their weight class. 17% of the population and 25% of all moviegoers.

            • Jennifer

              I saw that MPAA article. Thanks for sharing.

          • Jacqueline

            HaHa! I know I saw this statistic in the days leading up to Sunday. It is amazing how some people just need to defend racism with their very being.

            You might also what to give him the stats of Straight Outta Compton, The Perfect Guy and other recent movies that have “been successful” Maybe you can give him the statistic this week and save the box office receipts the next week. Have fun!

            • Jennifer

              I stopped looking and just started working (at my job – go figure!).

              I always point out to this young man that he sees the movies he is interested in. Straight Outta Compton made all the money in the world under his nose (mind you — white folks had to see that movie too in order for it to be so successful). He wasn’t paying attention because he doesn’t care about our films. It took him over a year to see “Selma” even though he is adamant about viewing Oscar contenders during each awards cycle. He saw EVERY other film but didn’t see SELMA until months after the Oscars. Yeah…

          • JennyJazzhands

            There’s an article in variety that stated that every recent film that has come out with a white person portraying people of color has bombed at the box office. But, movies with racially diverse casts (star wars) have grossed the most money. Idk if this helps.

      • Jennifer

        I just wish he hadn’t spent so much of the man on the street interviews with that final woman who obviously had some mentally- or chemically-induced issues. After folks have given funny and insightful opinions on why Hollywood is so insular and what real inclusion looks like, he still ends with the woman who can’t talk, looks a mess, and who is trying to take the Oscar home. It just felt like punching down after a really smart and interesting segment. *sigh*

      • Solomon Grundy

        Mad Max was good you trippin

  • Val

    Chris Rock’s humor has always had a very strong respectability politics aspect. And of course that means that if there’s a peoblem then Black folks have some part in creating the problem. This was very evident in Chris’ monologue and elsewhere in the show. Somehow we’re part of the problem becasue we don’t realize that there are more important things to boycott than the Academy Awards.

    As well I find it interesting that he was so unwilling to take on the power structure. No jokes about the old White men who are the majority of the Academy’s voters but a joke about “our grandmothers hanging from a tree”.

    Chris Rock is apart of the Black generation that thinks just being in the door is the most important thing. That attempting to shake things up after you are in the door is rude. So, all he really did last night was show his true colors.

    What a wasted opportunity.

    And Chrissy Teigen’s face once again stole the show. This is the face she made when Stacey Dash made that astoundingly cringe-worthy appearance. Lol

    http://images.distractify.com/v0.2/body/2016/02/enhanced-25582-1456712972-14-765×1024.jpg

    • KNeale

      You hit it with the generational divide thing. Who knows what he had to endure to get where he is now, someone who was making his way at a seemingly less inclusive time. But why are these people then turning around and spitting on the younger generation/up and comers who are trying to fight for more. I don’t get it.

    • TheCollinB

      But to those that this Hollywood thing matters to being in the door is really all that counts. They really just got in. and really they ain’t in like that. That him/Quincy/Russel/?uestlove joke was no joke. They’re the only ones liberal white people let come around. Up top I already spoke on the fact that we gotta stop caring so much cause it’s bogus anyway to be still dancing for these people attention, but to those that are willing to do it they really just got in the door. And to them that wyt peepo AC is all they really need right now.

      • Val

        I disagree. There’s a pretty long list of Black people in that industry who have been ‘in the door’ for a while now. Denzel, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi, Halle, Sidney, etc. But have they spoken up about change? Have they called for the Academy to restructure? Or have they been happy just to be in the door? I say the latter.

        • mssporadic

          Denzel said “F It” back when he was snubbed for Hurricane. That’s why he was lukewarm when he won for Training Day and at the Golden Globes this year.

          Whoopi was ostracized after 9/11. That’s why she says whatever she wants and doesn’t care anymore.

          Sidney too old to care. He just wants his Medamucil. He put in work so I’m cool with him being chill.

          Halle has spoken out about it recently.

          Morgan gon Morgan. He makes movies with Clint Eastwood, so he’s probably a closet Repub who thinks we need to pull up our pants.

          • Val

            So you just helped me make my point. They all have had the chance to make a positive difference. That was my point.

          • Agatha Guilluame

            *dead* @ “he just wants his Metamucil”

            no respect. LOL.

            • Mary

              Word! On the floor hollering, bo’!

          • PinkRose

            I saw a patient in their 20’s the other day needing Metamucil…… as a colon cancer patient. Even if I wasn’t over 40, I doubt I could find the humor in that Metamucil comment.

            • darion d’anjou

              didn’t know metamucil was on the do not joke list. could you please forward me the updated list? it must be pretty extensive!

              • PinkRose

                You weren’t “joking” about Metamucil, you were “joking” about an Elder in the Black community. And THAT was not funny, but you’d know that if you had been taught to respect your Elders.

                As for Metamucil, I just thought you needed a wake up call that any number of circumstances in life could warrant its use.

            • mssporadic

              Fun Governor ALERT!

        • TheCollinB

          I appreciate you disagreeing but I’m asking you to really consider how long a “while” is….outside of Portier most of that list has been inside for what 20 years. And that’s still a small amount of folks. And tbh most folks you listed don’t play the Hollywood game. Whoopi and Denzel really don’t.

        • Ava DuVernay is putting in work and building institutions.

          • …and literally got shut out of last year’s Oscars and was a part of a boycott of the latest one. She is not “in the door.”

            If the point here is to have Black people work inside so there’s more diversity among award recipients, the ones who speak up aren’t ever the insiders. Ava proves that point.

            • She wasn’t part of a boycott. She was in Flint putting in work. That’s what she does. She builds and creates opportunities. If the end goal is to have more diversity among award recipients, then we need spaces where great work can be created. Hollywood isn’t going to create those spaces beyond a handful of Black actors and actresses at a time that may get roles. I don’t really believe about working inside the system can foster long lasting change because you have to get into positions of power for that and it’s not likely you’ll rise.

              • I’m not speaking to whether Ava’s creating opportunities or not; that is besides the point was making. I’m speaking to Val’s statement of whether people “in the door” can actually restructure the Academy. People in the door haven’t spoken up, so we have no reason to think a handful of black people will create institutional change in the future.

                We’re essentially saying the same thing.

        • darion d’anjou

          Easier said than done. Those that say it have already long been kicked back out the door, or dragged out the door.

          It’s like all the Black people who said they wouldn’t sit there and take slavery, they would have revolted or run. Well guess what, that happened, and plenty of Black slaves got hung trying to run away or revolt!

          The point is, you’re only seeing what you think you see, which is probably an incredibly thin slice of the entire much more complex picture. People have bills to pay, mouths to feed, careers to lead. If you haven’t noticed most people aren’t MLK and Malcolm X, and aren’t rising up all the time, and can’t. Guess what, those guys actually got killed for it.

          • Val

            First of all comparing the struggle of our enslaved ancestors to this is a a stretch to put it mildly. Second, the people I mentioned have a ton of money, have very well established careers and have enough clout individually or collectively to be able to stand up. And they all could take the little bit it might cost them for doing so.

            And, if you wait around for another Malcolm or MLk to come along and do something then you’ll be waiting a long time. Being a civil rights icon is not a requirement for one to stand up for what’s right.

    • THIS!

      Chrissy is my spirit animal lol

      • Cleojonz

        I love her! I follow her on instagram lol.

        • I’m her baby godmommy.

    • Mary Burrell

      Staci Dash looked stupid I was rolling my eyes so hard.

  • I didn’t watch. All those read as funny to me

    • I was watching Young Justice Season 2 on Netflix.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Funny. I watched that over the weekend along with the new Batman movie. What’s your favorite episode?

        • I haven’t seen all of the episodes of season 2 yet so I’ll let you know.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I hate how CN will drop quality shows; we should be on season 4

            • They always seem to do so in an abrupt fashion too.

            • Charles Johnson

              PREACH

      • DBoySlim

        I’ve been binge watching YJ. Excellent show.

      • Charles Johnson

        There needs to be more shows like this. Any ideas?

        • Netflix is considering doing a 3Rd season.

          • Lea Thrace

            Dont do me like that Ricky. If there is no truth to this dont put it out there. My heart cant take the let down.

          • Charles Johnson

            It was such a good series

        • The world could use another X-Men cartoon but I don’t know who has the rights to X-Men characters in animated form. Considering Wolverine has appeared on the Ultimate Spiderman Disney may have them.

          • Lea Thrace

            I actually think Fox has Xmen animated rights as well. But they are more willing to loan out animated characters to other studios. That’s what I’ve read anyway. Could be wrong.

            • Quirlygirly

              Yes, I actually just had this convo with my coworker. Fox owns the rights and p i m p s err umm loans wolverine out to the highest bidder. Gotta make that money

              @Wu- Considering that Fox has the rights- I don’t think they have the creative juice to do another X-Men cartoon without messing up origins. They won’t be true to the original story so some true comic book heads may get upset.

      • Lea Thrace

        Ugh. Young Justice, gone too soon.

        Oddly enough, I was watching Justice League: Gods and Monsters instead.

        • I still haven’t seen Gods and Monsters.

          • Lea Thrace

            It was decent. A bit jarring cause of the alternate universe aspect. And the voices! Luthor should ALWAYS be Clancy Brown. ALWAYS. Every time Luthor spoke in Gods and Monsters, it completely threw me off. Same with Benjamin Bratt as Superman. Although I completely understand why they went that direction with him.

      • Conrad Bess

        Why did they cancel that show? I thought the Cartoon Network was back on track until that…

    • AnswerMe

      I didn’t see it either but have giggled happily while reading almost all of them.

  • Dustin John Seibert

    Vehemently disagree. Every little nuanced thing he did was to take a shot at the Academy for their history of exclusion. He was giving a metaphorical middle finger to the folks who cut his check. It’d be like me cussing my boss out during a staff meeting and still getting paid on Friday.

    • I still try to keep picturing myself ever having the balls to do that. I don’t think I could.

      • but did it take balls to… talk about what everyone has already been saying? as Champ mentions, i think a lot of his “shots” were fired at Black folk for caring. and giving Hollywood a pass because, well, they’ve always been racist *insert hardy har har here*.

        there was nothing Chris Rock said that was a “well damn, take that white folks”. it was all very safe. and very respectable. even the “Hollywood is racist”.

        • I think so. I think it is always safer to stay silent. I believe he did struggle with whether to quit or not. I think it would have been easier to turn the job down. Who knows what will be the ramifications for him in Hollywood. I didn’t find “Hollywood is racist” as respectable when you work there….and it is the annual Christmas party.

          • i mean his fortune and fame wasnt built on a film making career. yes, he’s Hollywood, but not in the way that is acknowledged by The Academy. he “works there” but he was hired knowing that he would say “Hollywood is racist” – because his entire career has been built on him poking fun of race/racism.

            i mean, “they” weren’t gonna fire him mid show. “they” aren’t going to prevent him for continuing to do what he’s always done (make jokes about race). “they” aren’t going to keep him out of the establishment and block him from making Pootie Tang Goes to Jail. you may not have gotten up and said these things because thats not your lane. he was hired because they knew what lane he would stay in.

          • Janelle Doe

            Maybe they can have Kanye host one year. (Katrina Kanye though not 2016 ‘Ye) could you imagine?!?!

    • lilylawyer

      I completely agree. My impression was that he went in, and I thought he went in further than I actually expected. The Stacy Dash moment aside (which I think was really to make her the butt of the joke – if only she were smart enough to get that), I thought most of the jokes landed. I thought it was funny while making many in the room uncomfortable. My only real complaint was that I wish there were more jokes or mention of other excluded minorities.
      I also think a lot of people missed the point of the movie theater bit. It was absolutely the funniest part of the show, but it also highlighted the difference in perception. People appreciate movies that they identify with so the old white dudes that are members of the academy do not appreciate “Straight Out of Compton.” Likewise, people in Compton could give 10 f*cks about “The Danish Girl.” It doesn’t mean that they aren’t both great movies worthy of recognition, but those who identify with one are in positions of power and those who identify with the other are not, this #OscarsSoWhite. I think that was the point of the movie theater bit. And if that is the case, it was completely in context.
      Actually, I’m lying, the Jada joke pissed me off. So other than the Stacy Dash moment and the Jada moment, I was with him.

      • Brian Day

        I hope CR elaborates on the Stacey Dash bit. I also think she was genuinely clueless to being setup for self immolation, in which case CR is a genius…

        • miss t-lee

          I felt like that too. I don’t think she realized she was the joke

    • PinkRose

      Of course, I KNEW I’d agree with you…..AGAIN!

  • Mr. quojo .

    I thought it was great, he took some digs, and got some laughs. He made great points, and he did
    it in a way that was subversive. He wasn’tlaughing with them he was laughing at them.

    All and all at the end of the day it was Chris Rock, not Paul Mooney.

    • miss t-lee

      Did you catch any of the digs when he came back from commercial?

      • PaddyfotePrincess

        “Aaaannd we’re black.”

        • miss t-lee

          YES!

    • KNeale

      But was he laughing at us too?

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    I thought he was brilliant. I’m don’t watch the Oscars, probably won’t watch again, but I tuned in….to see what Chris would bring and he brought it….unapologetically. I.LOVED.EVERY.BIT.OF.IT. He didn’t need to score up a follow-up meeting of “what’s next for black folks.” He served his purpose, the purpose of ridding the room of the big pink elephant. Saying what’s been said in the past but have fallen on deaf ears. No one can deny he dropped it on the stage and kick it around the audience. Hollywood was forced to listen. I LOVED the in yo face blackety black black. Know why I loved it? Because what he said is how they really feel. And if that’s how you really feel, no more harm done for saying so. True, it made folks uncomfortable, but you can’t make me uncomfortable for something I’m not guilty of. We may not see change, but no more denying. They can turn an eye, but not a blind eye.

    I loved the joke about Jada as well. She ain’t boycotting for what happens to blacks in Hollywood, she boycotted because Will was lumped in with the rest and ignored. Welcome to our (black actors) world. I mean, at least he could have been great if you’re going to complain on his behalf. But he wasn’t so there’s that.

    • miss t-lee

      It was uncomfortable in that room. did you see the gifs of folks faces?

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        I was feeling like ut oh…LOL It got really uncomfortable. You could tell who laughed because it was funny versus who laughed because they weren’t sure they should, and weren’t sure how they felt about it.

        • miss t-lee

          Yup.
          That right there made me laugh more than anything. Their uncomfortableness.

      • I wonder if the lady who decided to become a super villain after Kendrick’s Grammy performance was there?

        • miss t-lee

          HA!

    • “I loved the joke about Jada as well. She ain’t boycotting for what happens to blacks in Hollywood, she boycotted because Will was lumped in with the rest and ignored. Welcome to our (black actors) world. I mean, at least he could have been great if you’re going to complain on his behalf.”

      Yeaaa i loved that he pointed that out

  • Great read. Chris took the “First Aunt Viv” approach. Attempting to minimize the importance of diversity in Hollywood. Which gave Hollywood a way to escape their lack of inclusion with a slap on the wrist.

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