Did Chris Rock's Oscars 2016 Opening Speech Really Hit The Right Notes?

Chris Rock's opening speech pulled no punches


Chris Rock's opening speech at the Oscars 2016 has been overwhelmingly well received. 

Discussing it on Zoe Ball and Alex Zane's Oscars coverage on Sky Movies, Chris was heralded as one of 'the best comedians in the world.'


Alex Zane proclaimed that Chris had 'absolutely nailed it,' with Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern asserting that Chris had perfectly outlined 'that kind of racism or sexism that we all live with,' where you're surrounded by ostensibly 'nice guys,' but they still 'don't invite you to the party.'

The speech, as you might have gathered, was extremely and pointedly critical of the racism in the film industry, with Chris Rock exclaiming that despite loads of respectable, white, liberal film directors and producers out there, they 'still don't employ black actors.'


But it was also relatively confusing and appeared to be critical of the Oscars boycott, naming some of the people who had taken a stand: 'What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad!'

A quick Twitter poll on @ELLEUK showed that the majority of people did really appreciate Chris's particular brand of pointed satire. 


There was a contingent, though, that admitted they weren't really sure what to make of it. 

And we have to say, we're finding ourselves among them. 

While Chris addresses some really important points we can't help but feel that a couple of his jokes were a little badly thought through.

Some of his one liners were amusing, but treaded dangerously close to bad taste:

'Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles,' he said.

While other aspects of his speech felt a little mean spirited.

For example, he took a pop at Leonardo DiCaprio, suggesting almost that the complaints over his lack of Oscar is farcical, considering he pretty much has the run of all the most incredible parts in Hollywood.

He 'gets offered good parts all the time,' Chris mused.

The other aspect that irked us was his poking holes in the #AskHerMore campaign, in which women - another group discriminated against by the film industry - have asked for people to please respect their intelligence on the red carpet.

Fighting against racism is clearly required, even in 2016, but belittling other campaigns, protests or minorities in the process feels like an uncomfortable way to go about it.

We're interested to know your views though. Tell us what you thought of Chris Rock's Oscars 2016 speech on Twitter @ELLEUK!

Images: GETTY

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