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Chris Rock's opening Oscar monologue tackled the race issue brilliantly

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“Is Hollywood racist?”

Not so much addressing the elephant in the room as bringing it onto stage and feeding it peanuts for the assembled A-listers at this year's "White People's Choice Awards", Chris Rock didn’t hold back in his opening monologue, tackling Hollywood's race problem his own frank, forthright and inimitable style.

“Is it burning the cross racist? No, it’s a different type of racist,” said the host, going on to add that decades ago there were far worse things going on with race issues: "We had other things to protest. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign Short.”

While he did poke fun at "Will, Jada and Spike going mad", rousing a few grumbles in the gathered audience, he then went onto take issue with the Academy in very wry style, calling on Academy bosses to introduce new categories including Best Black Friend.

Then he went for the jugular: “We want opportunities. We get black actors to get the same opportunities,” Rock said, sparking zealous applause before finishing with this zinger.

"You want diversity? We got diversity: please welcome Emily Blunt and somebody whiter, Charlize Theron."

Have a watch below.

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