Now that the day has come and gone, let’s chat about what really started conversations and debates from this years Oscars… Two words: Chris Rock!
Since the moment Oscar nominations were revealed, the discussion has been about the lack of diversity amongst the nominees. In fact, there were so many black people NOT nominated that the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was created. Many called for Chris Rock to step down as this year’s host while others said there would be no one better for the job… well after his infamous monologue, you can be the judge!
If you missed it:
First of all, his walk on song set the tone before he even had a chance to open his mouth. “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy, unbeknownst to viewers, would be the beginning of a great debate!
Anyways, he starts his speech with, “Man, I counted at least 15 people on that montage,” referencing the 15 previously Oscar-nominated black people from the year before. “”Well, I’m here, at the Academy Awards. Also known as the White People’s Choice Awards. You realize, if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. That’s right. Y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”
So at this point, he’s called out the elephant in the room right? Nope not yet. He offered a few more –what some are calling distasteful and uncomfortable—comments and then he opened a new can of whoopass.
“Why are we protesting…the big question is, why this Oscars?” He asked. He wasted no time answering his own question. According to Chris, in 1962 and 1963 we weren’t protesting the Oscars because “we had real things to protest at the time.They were too busy being raped and lynched.”
He also inserted, “When your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.” Not at all awkward to say in front of a room full of rich white folks…yikes!
Although the audience was littered with laughter, Chris’ words lingered –even planted seeds of realism. Headlines went up and Chris is now accused of going too far. Steve Harvey and the rest of his morning show hosts tackled the issue this morning. As a fellow comedian, Steve’s feedback on Chris’ statements was nothing but supportive. He said Chris is a comedian and he is using his art to make people feel uncomfortable about an issue that is very real. He has started debates and conversations within a few moments over an issue America’s been whispering about for years.
Steve continued his support: “Chris went too far? What’s too far?” He said “Lynching black folks is too far,” and so for Chris to use the lynching of black people to prove a point was perfect strategy. Of course we’ve seen the opposing argument discrediting Chris’ statements suggesting that lynching is never something to joke about.
He also compared Chris Rock to Kevin Hart saying that Kevin is nonetheless an amazing comedian but when it comes to being able to tackle and issue such as race, inequality, and the destruction of black people, Kevin just wouldn’t be able to make the cut. He said that is an issue Chris was within all of his rights and expectations to address. It sounded like Steve was actually expecting Chris to take that angle during his time hosting and feels he said nothing wrong.
Well not everyone is a fan of Chris Rock’s standup last night as Shaun King penned his editorial to the NY Daily News saying that the comedian simply went too far with some of his jokes.
In regards to the lynching remark, King stated, “Listen, I know Chris steps on toes for a living, but I don’t ever want to hear a live audience laughing about the lynching of our grandmothers. I can’t imagine the deepest, darkest pain of any other group of people being used as a prime-time punchline. Not only that, but we indeed live in an era where black bodies, riddled with bullets, choked lifeless, Tasered repeatedly, are strewn all over this country from coast to coast.”
The question stands now who’s right and who’s wrong ? Lets chat below!
TSR intern: Chantel P.! @_popchanny on IG!