Rock referenced the #OscarsSoWhite controversy multiple times in his monologue, where no minority actors were nominated for Oscars for the second year in the row, even referring to the ceremony as the "white people's choice awards." Rock even poked fun at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who said they would be boycotting the Oscars.
"This whole black nominees thing happened at least 71 other times," Rock said. "We want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors. That's it."
It wasn't just #OscarsSoWhite that the comedian addressed in his monologue. Rock also commented on the Black Lives Matters protest as well.
"Things going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the "In Memorium" package, it's just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies," Rock said.
The comedian's comments were widely applauded on social media.
I didn't think Chris Rock would stay this long on #OscarsSoWhite. I am SO glad he is! Genius. Smart. Eloquent. Hilarious.— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) February 29, 2016
Chris Rock killed the opening monologue. Terrific.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 29, 2016
Love that Chris Rock berated a room full of white people for being racist before they celebrate themselves for three hours #Oscars— Mike Lawrence (@TheMikeLawrence) February 29, 2016
I love Chris Rock right now. Taking shots at everyone from all backgrounds. If this monologue was an hour special I'd buy it. #Oscars— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) February 29, 2016
Yo..... Chris Rock right now though....... 😭😭😭— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) February 29, 2016
"This year, the In Memoriam package is just going to be black people who were shot by cops on their way to the movies." Chris Rock #Oscars— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 29, 2016
It wasn't unexpected for Rock to comment on #OscarsSoWhite: the comedian tweeted a mysterious video with static footage with the caption "See you Sunday... #blackout #oscars,". And when Rock hosted the Oscars in 2005, the comedian didn't hold back from commenting on race and political issues in his opening monologue.