Chris Rock For the Win: Oscars 2016

I think Chris Rock just became a hero.

Here it is the biggest night in Hollywood, glitz, glam and the truths of #OscarsSoWhite, then consequently #HollywoodSoWhite, has gained national attention and social momentum. In the crux of the hype? The host.

After a particularly painful past few years of people of color being subjects of violent police brutality and judicial injustice and two weeks after Beyonce’s (pro-black not anti-police) Super Bowl performance; a black Chris Rock is given the mic to open a legendary televised all-white award ceremony, in a predominantly all-white room and address the concerns of a famous and non-famous mourning black community WHILE hosting a program that at the end of the day needs to make its ratings. Chris Rock had a huge responsibility on his shoulders this Oscars around.

The articles were out, “The Oscars place all hope on Chris” etc. etc. etc.

CR Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.55.19 PM.pngChris Rock screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 10.55.45 PM.png(Google Screenshots taken 02.28.17)

My thoughts? -What the hell are they hoping for? The damage is done, the secret’s out. “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube” as my professor says.

To top it off, out of all people? Chris Rock. Gag me.

Admittedly, Kevin Hart would be a worst host for this, but they couldn’t get someone else?

John Legend has a soon-to-be-dad glow so that’s a no go. Will Smith, well with Jada somewhat leading the celebrity Oscar boycott, Will’s probably not a good idea.…. Who else? Common brings a little too much of something, wonderful man – but he’s has an air that white Hollywood might not be feeling. Bernie Mac, rest his soul, may have been a great option.

Ok ok ok… The Academy needed someone strong, serious, and seasoned but really funny – Chris Rock FTW. However, he doesn’t really pull me to the screen. I like him, he’s a go-with-the-script kind of guy. Animated but not that bold.

Then I read a tweet, or the tweet read me?

 

Wow, that’s it. Granted, Chris Rock’s unusual semi-silence and ABC’s constant repeat promo lead me to believe there may be something more in-store but it just didn’t occur to me that that’s what every one of us (the hurting, the uncertain, those seeking light) wanted. I wanted him to address the elephant in the room. So at 20:28 I tuned in to The Oscars. “Lights, camera, action” and five, four, three, two…..” It was like I could feel the jitters of Chris Rock’s gut as the pre-roll sizzle reel ended.

Out walks Chris.

click link and scroll down –

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/02/28/how_chris_rock_s_opening_monologue_addressed_oscarssowhite_video.html

I felt saved. I felt vindicated in a sense that Chris Rock made that opening work in ways no one else ever would. He had poise, delivery, personality, humor, and history. But most importantly, he was able to communicate to his peers and The Academy emotion and a call to action.

On the behalf of  The Academy, pinning all hope on Chris Rock, is weak and unrealistic. Take some responsibility for the decisions that were made to exclude minorities in this production. Clearly this has been thought out over the course of six decades.

However, I look forward to the changes that have been promised. Tonight’s intro was a moment I felt a part of and I thank Chris Rock for making that happen and making it real. Oscars 2017 be ready.

***Disclaimer: I wish I could embed the video but The Oscars made the video private or n/a on YouTube (so you have to watch in on their site with their advertisements and WordPress doesn’t allow for embeded codes from other sites***

 

 

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