Renowned comedian Chris Rock started with a bang Sunday night, when he hosted the 88th Academy Awards, whose decision-makers made headlines this year when they snubbed multiple ethnic candidates and excluded people of color from all acting nominations for the second year in a row.
While the show was bound to address the elephant in the room and play on all the cultural nervousness, given the fact that Rock is notorious for his cutting racial commentary, no one could have anticipated that a heaping majority of the night would be dedicated to making statements about Hollywood’s lack of diversity.
Complete with a candid monologue, satirical bits and a jaw-dropping cameo, the night shaped up to be the most awkward award show of the season, and possibly of all time. Here are some of the most tension-filled moments:
10. When Rock compared the concept of Jada Pinkett-Smith boycotting the Oscars to the idea of him boycotting Rihanna’s underwear.
9. When Rock mockingly introduced Stacey Dash (who no one actually thought would show up!) as the Oscars’ new “director of minority outreach” and the only one who got the gag was The Weeknd.
8. When Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan all inserted themselves into the white roles of this year’s nominated films and no one was ready to see Morgan sloppily eating danishes in a woman’s slip dress.
7. When Chris Rock joked that the show’s memoriam would replace all contributors to film who passed away last year with all the black lives lost at the hands of police brutality.
6. When Chris Rock interviewed a bunch of Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills, CA residents about the Oscars and that cute little lady got in her feelings about black actors and how hard they work.
5. When the actor who played Suge Knight in Oscar-snubbed film Straight Outta Compton made a cameo appearance and again, white people didn’t get the joke…
4. When Rock basically pimped out a bunch of girl scouts on stage, and had them sell a bunch of cookies to that huge room full of millionaires.
3. When Rock made a tired joke predicated on multiple Asian stereotypes by having three Asian kids take the stage as finance firm bankers, and we all thought, “Wait a minute, I thought this whole show was supposed to be about racial progression…”
2. When Angela Basset issued a sarcastic “Black History Month Minute” honoring the very white Jack Black, instead of an anticipated black Will Smith, and the whole room pretty much hit race joke rock bottom.
1. When Kevin Hart got serious for like, the first time in his life and delivered an uplifting speech about all the great work black actors produce, but it was too late. The damage had already been done.
So, what did you think of the Oscars this year? Did you thrive on all the tension, or find Rock’s comedy too close for comfort? Comment below, and in case you missed Sunday’s viewing, check out the highlights below: