Oscars Round Up: Chris Rock, Lady Gaga, and #OscarsSoWhite

This year’s Academy Awards stirred all sorts of controversy. From nominations to the award show itself, the 2016 Oscars were a complete mess. With many people calling out the Academy for a lack of diversity within their ranks and the nomination process using the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, Chris Rock, the host, had an amazing opportunity. The conversation teased out by Rock was both helpful and damaging. He did critique the whiteness of the Awards, like when he cracked that if they nominated hosts, he wouldn’t be there. But he also made fun of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith for boycotting the Oscars, made a gross joke about not being invited to Rihanna’s panties, and also said that “not everything is sexism” (he wants to ask women what they’re wearing on the red carpet).

There was also that awkward moment with Stacey Dash.

Here’s the full monologue:

The New York Times has the full transcript.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the debate about the Oscars exploded. Underneath the broad conversation about the fact that the Oscars are pretty white was a deeper conversation between black folks and other people of color, commonly referred to as NBPOC on Twitter. This was a multipronged battle. Some NBPOC were frustrated that Chris Rock and other black critics didn’t include their perspectives. The pushback against those critiques by Black Twitter spawned the hashtag #NotYourMule to call out a perceived lack of solidarity from NBPOC regarding #OscarsSoWhite and the struggle against white supremacy more broadly.

In one rare shining moment, Lady Gaga performed her song ‘Till it Happens to You from The Hunting Ground accompanied by survivors on stage.

It was quite a night.

Header Image Credit: IndieWire


Katie Barnes (they/them/their) is a pop-culture obsessed activist and writer. While at St. Olaf College studying History and (oddly) Russian (among other things), Katie fell in love with politics, and doing the hard work in the hard places. A retired fanfiction writer, Katie now actually enjoys writing with their name attached. Katie actually loves cornfields, and thinks there is nothing better than a summer night's drive through the Indiana countryside. They love basketball and are a huge fan of the UConn women's team. When not fighting the good fight, you can usually find Katie watching sports, writing, or reading a good book.

Katie Barnes is a pop-culture obsessed activist and writer.

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