On Chris Rock’s Monologue

It’s not a rule of comedy like the rule of three, but it is often an understanding that “Comedy should always punch up, not down.” Many people were anticipating how Chris Rock was going to address the “white elephant” in the room, the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. I personally was disappointed. It wasn’t funny, and it seemed to make light of the protest. Chris Rock’s monologue punched down at Black people and women (Jada Pinkett Smith, Rihanna and sorority sisters).

Plus there was an offensive bit about Asian Americans.

Another thing was that it wasn’t funny after the first joke.

Many people have written how problematic Chris Rock’s jokes were at the Oscars, but no one has actually mentioned this fact- there is a team of writers who work on those jokes. Many of them (but not all) are white.

On Sunday, I tweeted.

Does it matter that most of the comedy writers who worked with Chris Rock on the monologue are white?

In a way I think it does, but on the other hand maybe not. The bottom line is this:

Did Chris Rock have the final say in what went into his monologue and the comedy bits throughout the broadcast?

If not, then he was just the hired help.

Like what you read? Give Nichelle Stephens a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.