Since the all-white Oscar nominations were announced, people have been waiting to see how host Chris Rock would handle the Academy’s homogeneity. Last night Rock not only addressed the issue, he made the Oscars diversity problem the theme of the entire night.
Reverend Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined Boston Public Radio Monday for another edition of their weekly segment All Revved up to discuss how Rock did as host.
“I thought he nailed it,” said Emmett Price. "That opening monologue, he absolutely nailed it. There are moments when the audience just laughs and then they just pulled back. It was like whoops, were we supposed to be laughing about this. His timing and his phrasing are so awesome.”
Despite praising Rock's use of satire, Monroe felt that Rock could have done more than just reflect on the need for African-American inclusion in the film industry. “I felt there was a lack of diversity in his talk and presentation about diversity. All the skits were African American. It seems to fall into this sort of binary when we talk about race. We talk about it in only black and white terms.”
Specifically, Monroe points to a skit involving some asian children, which she thought bordered on racist and presented stereotypes. “The talk needed to be much more expansive. I just wish the talk had more diversity in it,” she said.
While the film industry still has strides to make before it can be considered diverse, television has already made great progress in the vast variety of people and lifestyles depicted on the small screen. “Where the Oscars lack in diversity, I think television has been doing a very good job in presenting diversity,” said Monroe.