I hate awards shows. I literally make it my business to not watch them and only tune in for performances or speeches that I find interesting. Last night, Chris Rock filled that bill. After watching his monologue, I felt truly proud of him. When you are on a stage with an audience full of your peers in the midst of racial controversy and your people are looking at you, depending on you, what do you do? What do you say? I think Chris hit the nail on the head several times in his speech and expected there to be a whirlwind of support (maybe not a whirlwind). Instead, there’s a wealth of people that are pissed off; literally pissed off by what he said or didn’t say. Before we get to this list, I must say that every artist, comedian, or person in general does not have to support a movement in the same manner. Just because Chris didn’t get on stage and say burn all the
whiteys doesn’t mean he isn’t down. Also, if you are fit into any of ::these:: categories, you really don’t have room to talk about how to support the movement. Mmkay?
“You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. So y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now”
– This; a clear jab at the academy being racially biased.
“’Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit.’ You should quit. How come there’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something, you know? No one with a job ever tells you to quit. So, I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard. But, I realized, they’re gonna have the Oscars anyway”
– This really pissed people off but here’s the thing, Chris did more for the movement by being there and using his platform to speak and ruffle a few feathers as oppose to sitting at home watching it on tv. You make a statement the way YOU feel is best. We don’t all have to move in the same way.
“Why this Oscars? Why this Oscars, you know? […] 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”
– Many saw this as a snub to the #Oscarssowhite boycott and felt like he was saying this is unimportant. Or, maybe he was saying that we weren’t able to protest it the other 71 years we were excluded but now we are in a position to do so. It’s almost like when people say “why didn’t you say something before”. Chris’ response was “because we couldn’t before but now, we can”.
“Jada is going to boycott the Oscars — Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited. Oh, that’s not an invitation I would turn down.”
– Despite the reports, this was far from a drag. It was funny. He is a comedian that is going to poke fun at his peers. #sorrynotsorry
“Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, yes. I said it. Alright?”
– See that unapologetic mention of police brutality. Oh.. ok.
“No, not at all, man. If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories like Best Black Friend”
– This is so on point. The lack of opportunity in Hollywood for black actors and actresses is a large issue that, many times, goes overlooked. How about we put black actors and actresses in leading roles so that they have a chance to be nominated or even win.
“Is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist? You know, that’s a…you gotta go at that at the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? No. Is it fetch-me-some-lemonade racist? No. No, no, no. It’s a different type of racist”
– Racism is not limited to burning crosses on your front lawn or calling you a nigger to your face. Racism, a lot of times, is limiting access and opportunities. That is the kind of racism that is alive and well in Hollywood and many other institutions.
That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like, “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.”
– Again, racism can wear many different hats and can almost appear as if it’s not actually racism at all.
“What I’m trying to say is, you know, it’s not about boycotting anything. It’s just, we want opportunity. We want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors”
– And that my friends is really what it boils down to. It isn’t about boycotting or giving the Academy the finger. It is about wanting equal opportunity for black actors.
“Everything’s not sexism, everything’s not racism”
– Yep, not everything is racism or sexism and there is a real danger in labeling every single thing as such. There is a true danger in desensitizing ourselves to true acts of racism and sexism and I think that is an important note to mention.
Bonus: Him bringing out Stacy Dash was my favorite part. He introduced her as the head of diversity and it was, in my opinion, a satirical view of what the head of diversity in racist institutions probably looks like. And we all know about Stacy.