Chris Rock didn’t limit his sharp criticism of #OscarsSoWhite to his opening monologue. Throughout the night, he reminded us all of just how white the nominees were this year, and perhaps the high point was this man-on-the-street segment, in which he interviewed black moviegoers about this year’s Oscars. It’s safe to say that they weren’t too excited about the ceremony, and hadn’t even heard of a few of the big nominees. (Bridge of Spies? To be fair, most people probably forgot about Bridge of Spies.) It was a charming bit, especially when one of the interviewees made the point that the Oscars should reflect and be accessible to all people, including blacks, Latinos, and Asians.
Though the context was more charged, the segment was reminiscent of one Rock did the last time he hosted the Oscars, back in 2005, in which he visited a Magic Johnson–owned movie theater and asked patrons to name their favorite movies of the year. Let’s just say that, unsurprisingly, the academy and the public didn’t agree on the merits of Alien vs. Predator.