LOS ANGELES – While Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee declared they were boycotting the 88th annual Academy Awards, there was no shortage of well-known African American stars to help Chris Rock get his thoughts out about the diversity issues at the Oscars.
Rock’s monologue was one that found humor in the diversity controversy and took a swing at Jada Pinkett Smith along the way. Some stars, however, took a more serious approach.
During the show Kevin Hart, fellow comedian, paid tribute to fellow actors of color on stage.
“I’m a positive guy,” he said. “But I want to take a moment to applaud all my actors and actresses of color who did not get nominated…These problems of today will eventually be the problems of old. Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us. Let’s continue to do what we do best and work hard.”
Angela Bassett highlighted Black History Month with a segment in which she led the audience to believe she was highlighting Will Smith. However, she surprised viewers when she was actually talking about Jack Black.
There was also an #OscarsSoWhite parody that included Whoopi Goldberg and Tracy Morgan in an attempt to show how the films would have benefited with an African American. Morgan played Eddie Redmayne’s role in “The Danish Girl” wearing a white dress and heels, saying: “Look at me, I’m a black thespian starring in his first dramatic role.”
Goldberg interrupted Jennifer Lawrence in a clip of “Joy,” saying: “It’s not rocket science, it’s a mop. Maybe one day they’ll make a movie about a skinny white lady that made a mop. A black girl would have to invent the cure for cancer before they give her a TV movie.”
Before the awards, Goldberg shared with People her thoughts on boycotting.
“Boycotts – to me – are a pain in the butt,” she said. “If you want to [boycott] ... don't go see the movie. ... If we're not here, then we're really not here."
Also on the red carpet, actress Kerry Washington, who stunned in a white and black leather dress, told Robin Roberts why she chose to attend the awards.
“You need all those voices at the table. It’s about women, about people of color, it’s about age.”
Stacey Dash and Leslie Jones also made cameos at the awards show.
And throughout the night, Rock was praised by fellow celebs for his handling of the controversial Oscars.
demi lovato —