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Watch: Chris Rock’s 2016 Oscars opening monologue

The host went in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy at the 88th Annual Academy Awards
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Oscars 2016 host Chris Rock didn’t hold anything back during his opening monologue at the ceremony tonight, touching on the controversial issue of diversity that has dominated the Oscars conversation this year.

The comedian and actor began by joking that he counted “at least 15 black people” in the opening montage celebrating the year’s biggest movies, and went on to call the Oscars the “white People’s Choice Awards”.

He also poked fun at Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who had publicly announced their decision to boycott the ceremony this year.

“Jada said she’s not coming. Isn’t she on a TV show?” he quipped.

“Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties – I wasn’t invited … that’s not an invitation I would turn down!”

The 51-year-old had some choice words for Will as well.

“It’s not fair that Will Smith was this good [in Concussion] and didn’t get nominated. You know what’s also not fair? That Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!”

He went on to describe Hollywood as “sorority racist”, quipping, “we Like you, Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa”.

Chris also pointed out that this was not the first time the Oscars had failed to nominate any black actors in the major categories.

“It’s the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times … Black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time,” he said.

However, the host turned serious when addressing the lack of opportunities for black actors in Hollywood.

“It’s not about boycotting. We want opportunity! We want black actors to get the same opportunities – that’s it. Not just once! Leo gets a great part every year! All you guys get great parts all the time. What about the black actors?”

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