As the #OscarsSoWhite backlash has gained momentum—for a second consecutive year, not a single actor of color was nominated for an Academy Award—fans have eagerly awaited what Rock would have to say about Hollywood diversity during his opening monologue.
We're happy to report that the legendary comic, who first served as the Oscars master of ceremonies back in 2005, didn't hold back. Here's how the stars in attendance reacted to some of Rock's sharpest lines.
"This is the wildest, craziest Oscars to ever host, because we've got all this controversy. No black nominees. And people are like, 'Chris, you should boycott. Chris, you should quit. You should quit.' How come it's only unemployed people who tell you to quit something?"
"I thought about quitting. I thought about it real hard, but I realized, they're gonna have the Oscars anyway. They're not gonna cancel the Oscars because I quit. And the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."
"Why this Oscars? It's the 88th Academy Awards, which means this whole 'no black nominees' thing has happened at least 71 other times."
"You got to figure that it happened in the '50s and the '60s. In the '60s, one of those years Sidney [Poitier] didn't put out a movie. I'm sure there were no black nominees some of those years, say '62, '63. And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time."
"We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer."
"Jada [Pinkett Smith] boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."
"It's not fair that Will [Smith] was this good [in Concussion] and didn't get nominated. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West."
"This year, in the 'In Memoriam' package, it's just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies."
"If you want black nominees every year, you need to just have black categories. That's what you need. You need to have black categories. You already do it with men and women—think about it. There's no reason for there to be a man and a woman category in acting. It's not track and field. You don't have to separate them. Robert DeNiro's never said, 'I better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep could catch up.'"
"We got a black Rocky this year. Some people call it Creed. I call it black Rocky."
"Rocky takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes. Rocky is a science fiction movie."
"Paul Giamatti, I believe, is the greatest actor in the world."
"Last year, [Paul Giamatti]'s in 12 Years a Slave, hates black people. This year, he's in Straight Outta Compton, loves black people. Last year he's whipping Lupita; this year he's crying at Eazy E's funeral. Now that's range."
"We want opportunity. We want the black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors. That's it."
"Not just once. Leo gets a great part every year."
"What about the black actors? Look at Jamie Foxx. Jamie Foxx, one of the best actors in the world, man. Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles. It's like, 'We don't need two of these!'"
"If George Clooney showed up with a lime-green tux on and a swan coming out his ass, somebody would go, 'What you wearing, George?'"
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.