As expected, Chris Rock dedicated his entire opening monologue at Sunday night’s Academy Awards to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that has dominated the national conversation for the past couple of months. But it wasn’t all bad news.
“Let me tell you some good news, the Academy has taken steps to fix this problem,” Rock said after airing a parody montage that found Whoopi Goldberg, Tracy Morgan, and other black actors inserted into some of this year’s lily-white nominated films. “That’s why it is my honor to introduce the new director of our minority outreach program.”
Then he paused and said, “Please welcome miss Stacey Dash.”
If you thought Rock was joking, you were not alone. There was no way that Dash, the Clueless star and Fox News contributor who responded to #OscarsSoWhite by suggesting that we abolish BET and Black History Month was really going to appear on the Oscar stage, right?
But there she was, striding out onto the stage. “I cannot wait to help my people out,” Dash said, giggling to awkward silence. “Happy Black History Month! Thank you.”
Appearing on Fox & Friends last month, Dash said she found the threats of an Oscar boycott “ludicrous” because it encouraged “segregation.”
“If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black,” she told a baffled Steve Doocy. “If it were the other way around, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard.”
Her comments were quickly embraced by Donald Trump, who told Fox News that he found the interview “amazing,” adding, “I’ve never even thought of it from that standpoint.”
In an attempt to capitalize on her Oscar cameo for all its worth, Dash put up a blog post introducing herself to a much larger audience than she has ever received in the past.
“When they added ME to increase the diversity, I’m sure many black people rolled their eyes,” Dash wrote of the Oscar ceremony. “I’m not ‘black enough,’ they say. But guess what? I’ve heard that all my life. I would rather be a free thinking, black than a cookie cutter black who thinks—and votes—just like all my friends.”
The crowd of celebrities didn’t quite know how to react, and Chrissy Teigen pretty much summed up how we were all feeling with her face: