In an industry of diverse characters and talent, not a single black actor was nominated in a major high-profile category in this year’s 2016 Academy Awards. This article, published by National Public Radio, outlines the jokes, jabs, and steps taken by the show’s host Chris Rock as an effort to highlight the issues of racism that exist in Hollywood today.

From the opening monologue to the montage of movies at the start of the show, and an entire segment adding black characters in to the nominated films, the almost three hour long nationally broadcast show put issues of black and white at the forefront of viewers conscious.

oscars cartoon
Source:, cartoon by Khalil Bendib


Some argued that the comedian host went too far, over-emphasizing black issues but failing to acknowledge that other racial and ethnic minorities were also overlooked in nominations.

“Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood’s racist … but it’s [racism] you’ve grown accustomed to,” said Rock.

The evening of prestige struck a chord with an America that sruggles to find its balance and inclusion, and it certainly did not come without controversy. The content alone and the trending hashtag OscarsSoWhite did spark a conversation that perhaps needed to be had.