The British "Judas and the Black Messiah" actor was tapped to host the show and came out swinging in his opening monologue with a joke about an allegation made by Meghan Markle during her and Prince Harry’s recent explosive sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"First of all, I know you're hearing my accent and thinking, 'Oh no. He's not Black. He's British.' Let me reassure you that I am Black. I’m Black and I'm British," he said. "Basically I’m what the royal family was worried the baby would look like."
The joke was a reference to a portion of Markle, who is half-Black, and Winfrey’s interview in which the Duchess of Sussex revealed that there were "concerns and conversations" about "how dark" her and Harry’s first-born son, Archie, would be prior to his birth. While she did not elaborate on who had those concerns and conversations, Prince Harry told Oprah that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip did not participate.
The actor’s comments on racism in the U.K. did not end there as he continued his opening monologue by asking the crowd if they thought racism in America or Britain was worse.
"Let me put it this way," he said. "British racism is so bad, white people left. They wanted to be free — free to create their own kinds of racisms. That's why they invented Australia, South Africa and Boston."
The actor concluded his opening monologue by addressing his recent gaffe at the Golden Globes. Kaluuya won the award for his role in "Judas and the Black Messiah" but was unfortunately muted on the Zoom call for his acceptance speech.
"I was muted. Can you believe that? I told the best joke of my life and I was muted. I felt like I was in a sunken place," he said, referencing the state of hypnosis his character entered in the 2017 horror "Get Out."