Is Hollywood racist?
"Jada said she's not coming," the comedian said. "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited," he joked.
Chris said that while it's not fair that Jada's husband Will Smith was not nominated for his role in "Concussion," "It's also not fair that he was paid $20 million for "Wild, Wild West."
Chris' monologue focused completely on the diversity debate.
He started it with, "I counted at least 15 black people in that montage," referring to the opening, and then called the Oscars, "the white people's choice awards."
The comedian further joked, "If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. You all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now."
Addressing the boycott, Chris went on, "People are like 'Chris you should boycott. Chris you should quit.' How come it's only unemployed people who tell you to quit something? I thought about quitting, but I realized they're going to have the Oscars anyway, and the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."
Chris then addressed the protest: "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."
He said that black people didn't protest in the '50s and '60s because they had "real" things to protest at the time.
"We were too busy being raped and lynched to vote for best cinematographer," he added.
Does he think Hollywood is racist? "You're damn right Hollywood is racist," he said. "Hollywood is sorority racist. It's like, 'We like you Rhonda but you're not a Kappa,' but things are changing. We got a black "Rocky" this year."
While he said that change is coming, his message was clear: "We want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities. Leo gets a great part every year. All of you guys get great parts all the time."
This is the second time that the comedian has hosted the Oscars. He first hosted in 2005 and was met with mixed reviews. At the time, some felt iffy about his jokes while some felt he was exactly what the Oscars had needed.
Also before the show started, "Selma" director Ava DuVernay and "Creed" director Ryan Coogler headlined a Flint Benefit to promote human rights concerns in light of attending the 2016 Academy Awards.
"Creed" was among several films deemed Oscar-worthy by many this year, but was snubbed by the Academy in the Best Picture category.
The event started two and a half hours before the Oscars and while Ryan previously said the timing was coincidental, many saw the #JUSTICEFORFLINT event as an alternative to the telecast.
The Academy Awards has historically come under fire over diversity since the show began in 1929.
And the debate opened up again like on old wound on Jan. 14 when the 2016 nominations list was announced, sparking an #Oscarsowhite backlash.
Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith, who missed out on a nomination for his film "Concussion," were at the helm of an Oscars boycott campaign -- and indicated they would not attend this year's ceremony.
And directors Spike Lee and Michael Moore were among other high-profile names to support the boycott over the lack of diversity in the major categories for the second year running.
Oscars host Chris Rock also came under pressure to step down, but it was later confirmed he would continue in the role. He then rewrote his opening monologue to address the controversy.
The Academy's President Cheryl Boone Isaacs took action too. She released a statement on Jan. 18 and promised a sweeping review of the Academy's voting structure, which includes a review of the member's voting rights every 10 years.
The Academy also promises to double the number of women and minorities in the organization by 2020.
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