July 2024

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This year’s Academy Awards ceremony was fueled with controversy. The lack of diversity angered many, inspired the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to resurface, and prompted some celebrities to boycott the event. Host Chris Rock was expected to address this issue in his opening monologue, and he delivered. There were many other exciting moments, such as Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first award.

Chris Rock did not hold back

The comedian began his opening monologue saying:

“Hey! Well, I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”  

He also addressed all the celebrities who told him he should not have hosted the awards.

“People are like, ‘Chris, you should boycott. Chris you should quit. You should quit!’ How come it’s only unemployed people that tell you to quit something?  No one with a job ever tells you to quit. I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard, but I realized they’re going to have the Oscars anyway. They’re not going to cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”  

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His response to the controversy

Rock addressed Jada Pinkett Smith’s decision to boycott the awards:

“Jada says she’s not coming. Protesting. I’m like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” 

He then asked the question “Is Hollywood racist?” and answered: “You d*mn right Hollywood’s racist.” But he noted that Hollywood racism is more subtle.

“Is it burning-cross racist? No. Is it fetch me some lemonade racist? Naw, naw naw. It’s a different type of racist…Hollywood is sorority racist. It’s like: “We like you Rhonda, but you’re not a Kappa.” That’s how Hollywood is, but things are changing.”

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Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for an Oscar four times over the last twenty years. He was up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the movies What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, and The Wolf of Wall Street. He has lost the award every single time. His bad luck had become a running joke on the Internet. But those jokes can officially be put to rest – this year he finally won for his role in The Revenant.

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He talked about climate change

DiCaprio received a standing ovation when he went to collect his award. He thanked everyone who worked on the film, and then took the opportunity to speak about climate change.

“Climate change is real. It is happening right now.  It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”

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Lady Gaga and Joe Biden stood up for abuse survivors      

Lady Gaga’s song “Til It Happens to You” was nominated for an award. It was written for the documentary The Hunting Ground, which is about sexual assault on college campuses. Gaga did not win the Oscar but she gave an incredibly moving performance and received a standing ovation. Before she performed, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden introduced her and spoke on the issue:

“We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man has to ask ‘what did I do?’ They did nothing wrong,” he said.

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SEE ALSO: The 10 Richest Movie Stars. Discover The Golden Screen.