Kate Winslet, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Rufffalo, Sasha Baron Cohen and Spike Lee comment on the Oscars diversity row. Rough Cut (No reporter anrration)
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) At the 2016 Oscars ceremony on Sunday (February 28) its host, Chris Rock confronted the racially charged elephant in the room - the furor over the all-white field of performers nominated for Hollywood's highest honors. In an opening monologue peppered with biting commentary about what he described as "sorority"-style discrimination pervading the film industry, Rock set the stage for a night of running gags that repeatedly returned to themes of racial politics. In doing so, he transformed a glittering awards show long known for self-reverential pomp into a 3 1/2-hour live ABC telecast punctuated by withering satire riffing on issues of inclusion and diversity raised by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign and the Black Lives Matter movement. Several celebrities had commented on the Oscars diversity issue prior to Sunday's ceremony. Film director Spike Lee led calls for a boycott of the 2016 Oscars over the lack of black actors among nominees. Kate Winslet expressed her outrage at the BAFTA Awards and Mark Ruffalo spoke out on the subject at the London premiere of 'Spotlight' in January. On the night of the Oscars, Whoopi Goldberg and Sacha Baron Cohen expressed their views on the red carpet before the show.