This Oscars season, two universal truths have emerged: It's Leonardo DiCaprio's year to win the Academy Award -- whether he deserves it for The Revenant or not -- and Chris Rock is the perfect host for this year's controversial awards season.
Long before the nominations were announced, it was clear that, once again, most of the hopefuls were white. In fact, actors of color were shut out completely from the four main acting categories for the second year in a row, prompting #OscarsSoWhite backlash, boycotts, and a swift statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promising more inclusion in its membership.
Suddenly, Rock was not only responsible for hosting the show but also for navigating the controversy that surrounded it -- and he didn't disappoint.
Rock was a man on a mission Sunday night (February 28) at the 88th Academy Awards, kicking off the show with a biting monologue that called out Hollywood racism and Jada Pinkett Smith's Oscar boycott.
"I counted at least 15 black people on that montage," Rock said as he walked onto the Academy Awards stage, referring to the telecast's opening montage which celebrated 2015's best films.
Rock didn't waste time before digging into Hollywood's diversity problem, referring to the Oscars as the "White People's Choice Awards."
"If they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get that job. You'll be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now," Rock joked. And that was only the first burn of the night.
Here are the realest moments from Rock's ? fire ? opening monologue:
"I thought about quitting. I thought about quitting real hard. But the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."
"Why this Oscars? What are we protesting this Oscars? It's the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole black no nominees things has happened at least 77 other times."
"Black people did not protest because we had real things to protest at the time. We were too busy raped and lynched to care about Best Cinematographer."
"Jada [Pinkett Smith] got mad. Jada said she's not coming. Isn't she on a TV show? ... Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties -- I wasn't invited."
"Jada's man Will [Smith] was not nominated for Concussion. It's not fair. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West."
"This year in the 'In Memoriam' package, it's just going to be black people that were shot by cops on their way to the movies."
"If you want black nominees every year, you need to have Black Categories... like Best Black Friend. And the Academy Award for Best Black Friend goes to.... Wanda Sykes!"
"You're damn right Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is sorority racist. It's like, we like you Rhonda, but you're not a Kappa."
"Things are changing. We got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed, but I call it Black Rocky because Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are just as good as black athletes. That's science fiction."
"We want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities. Not just once. Leo gets a great part every year -- but what about the black actors? Look at Jamie Foxx! Jamie Foxx is one of the best actors in the world. Jamie was so good in Ray that they went to hospital to unplug the real Ray, like, we don't need two of these."
"Everything is not racism. Everything is not sexism."
"Now, to present the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Emily Blunt and somebody even whiter, Charlize Theron."