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Oscars 2016: How Chris Rock, the Academy Awards Handled the #OscarsSoWhite Controversy

Chris Rock wasn’t afraid to tackle the Academy of Moton Picture Arts and Sciences’ diversity issue raised by some Hollywood stars when he hosted the Oscars on Sunday, February 28, at the Dolby Theatre in L.A.

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From the start of his opening monologue, he addressed the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with biting humor that skewered what he called Hollywood’s “sorority” racism, while also taking aim at some of the most outspoken stars involved in the conversation, such as Jada Pinkett Smith.

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The actress announced her decision to boycott this year’s Oscars after her husband, Will Smith, was snubbed for his work in the film Concussion, and none of this year’s acting nominees was a person of color.

Related: PHOTOS: Oscars 2016: Candid Backstage and Audience Moments During the Show

“If you’re a black actor, just getting the opportunity to be in a movie can be a struggle,” Rock admitted.

Chris Rock
Chris Rock hosted the 88th Academy Awards.

Related: PHOTOS: Oscars 2016 Red Carpet Fashion — What the Stars Wore

He later featured in a montage that added black actors into some of the past year’s biggest pictures, including in The Martian, Joy and The Danish Girl.

Chris Rock

While that was a hit with the audience, some other moments weren’t — like when Rock introduced controversial actress Stacey Dash as the head of the Academy’s new Minority Outreach Program.

Related: Oscars 2016: Chris Rock Interviews Compton Moviegoers About the Best Picture Nominees

Kevin Hart joked that he thought he’d get a front-row seat at this year’s show, but “it didn’t happen.”

But “at the end of the day, we love what we do,” he said, “and are breaking major ground doing it.”

Related: PHOTOS: Oscars 2016: All the Cute and Candid Moments From the Red Carpet

Watch the video above to see the often funny, sometimes biting moments when the show tackled the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

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