Chris Rock Addresses Diversity Controversy During Oscars Monologue: 'If They Nominated Hosts, I Wouldn't Get This Job!'

by Alex Ungerman 6:15 PM PST, February 28, 2016
Playing Chris Rock Addresses Diversity Controversy During Oscars Monologue: 'If They Nominated Hosts, I Wouldn't Get This Job!'

Chris Rock slaughtered his Oscars opening monologue!

The Academy Awards' host addressed the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head-on Sunday night, delivering jokes that were both hilarious and incisive.

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Calling the show the "White People's Choice Awards," Rock opened the show by joking, "If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. Y'all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris."

Rock also addressed rumors that he would step down as host of this year's ceremony, saying, "The last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."

While many of the jokes were lighthearted, Rock was not afraid to address heavily controversial issues, such as police brutality.

"In the In Memoriam package," Rock said, "It's just gonna be black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the movies."

"We want opportunities," the comedian explained during a more serious moment of the speech. "We want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors."

Immediately after the monologue, Amy Schumer offered praise, tweeting, "Welp @chrisrock murdered #oscars."

Oprah also shouted out Rock, writing, "Now you breathe."

Shortly before the show, Rock shared a photo of his preparations to Instagram, writing, "Cutting the fat off my monologue #oscars."

Cutting the fat off my monologue #oscars

A photo posted by Chris Rock (@chrisrock) on

On Friday, Rock shared a cryptic message fueling speculation as to how he would host the show, writing, "See you Sunday... #blackout #oscars."

See you Sunday... #blackout #oscars

A video posted by Chris Rock (@chrisrock) on

MORE: Chris Rock Shares Cryptic #Blackout Message Ahead of Oscars

In January, after the Academy failed to nominate any non-white actors for the second year in a row, Jada Pinkett Smith called for a boycott of the Oscars, leading some to believe Rock would drop out as host. However, Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin told ET that Rock would still host the show, while changing some of his material.

"Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room," Hudlin said. "As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, 'I'm throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.'"

WATCH: What Oscars Host Chris Rock Was Expected to Joke About

However, Rock's rep later told ET, "Chris has made no decisions about the content of the show. All will be revealed on Feb. 28."

One person supporting Rock ahead of the show was Kevin Hart, who told ET on Saturday he believed Rock would "address things the way only a comedian can."

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"He can bring light to some tough issues through comedic things, but still make you think about it. It's a good thing," Hart added. "The right guy is there this year."

Hart also posted about the controversy to Instagram, writing, "Sheeeessshhh.....Dress 2 impress with my partner in crime...!!! #Oscars #AllBlackForaReason."