Chris Rocks The 2016 Oscars


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HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 28: Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Karen Garcia, Staff Writer

Unlike Rose, Leonardo DiCaprio will probably never let go – of his Academy Award.

The 88th Academy Awards took place last night at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. Hosted by Chris Rock, the event presented viewers with a mixture of diversity and unexpected surprises.

Days before the show aired, it had been the subject of harsh criticism due to a lack of diversity among the nominees, as no people of color were nominated for the four main acting categories.

After a lengthy battle on Twitter and constant backlash from fans, the Academy took matters into its own gold-plated hands, vowing to diversify next year’s awards.

Comedian and host Chris Rock was expected to bring light to the issue of diversity during his monologue in his own comedic, yet enlightening way. Fans were anxious to hear the comedian’s take on the matter, and it is safe to say that no one was prepared for Chris to rock their world.

Oftentimes, when award shows spotlight social issues, they only do so for a few minutes of air time. Chris Rock on the other hand, repeatedly focused on the topic throughout the night and incorporated it into his comedic bits.

He opened the show by welcoming everyone to the “White People’s Choice Awards” and stated that if hosts were nominated, everyone would be watching Neil Patrick Harris.

Rock brought out a more serious tone when explaining why he did not boycott the show and “lose another job to Kevin Hart.” He stated it was important to protest now because in the past, people of color had real-life issues to worry about.

“You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree,” said Rock in his monologue. “It’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

However, not all of Rock’s jokes were unanimously accepted. At one point, he made a stereotypical joke implying that Asians are good at math when he brought out three Asian children and introduced them as PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants. He encouraged those who found the joke offensive to tweet about it on their phones, which were also “made by the children.”

Although we are aware that the world of comedy and satire is more confusing than the ending of Inception, that joke did not rock, Chris.

The eventful night was also filled with unexpected surprises and long-awaited victories.

After years of countless nominations and zero wins, Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home an Oscar for his performance in The Revenant, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu – who also won an Oscar for best director.

Many viewers were taken by surprise and left feeling somewhat clueless when Mark Rylance won the award for best supporting actor, as Sylvester Stallone was expected to win.

Speaking of clueless, Stacey Dash made an appearance as “the new person in charge of minority outreach.” Dash, who is known for her controversial remarks on Fox news, stated she could not wait to help “her people” and proceeded to wish everyone a happy Black History Month.

If there was an Oscar for most cringe-worthy performance, that would be it.

Lady Gaga delivered a powerful performance like only she can of her song “Til It Happens To You.” She was joined onstage by sexual assualt survivors, as the song is a ballad about the topic. Her moving rendition elicited tears from viewers and audience members alike.

The In Memoriam section honored the talented artists who passed away this year, featuring emotional tributes to Alan Rickman and David Bowie, as well as many others.

Award shows are always unpredictable and full of surprises, we can only guess what will happen next year. As the Academy pushes towards inclusion, we may hopefully begin to see more diversity among the nominees.