The 11 Most Talked-About Oscars Moments

Including Joe Biden introducing a powerful Lady Gaga performance
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2016 11:30 PM CST
Updated Feb 29, 2016 6:36 AM CST
The Most Talked- About Moments at the Oscars
Vice President Joe Biden introduces a performance by Lady Gaga at the Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

It started with Chris Rock's biting opening monologue and kept going for more than three-and-a-half hours. Some of Oscar night's most buzzworthy lines and moments, per the Washington Post, the Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Life, Vanity Fair, Us, and Deadline:

  1. Chris Rock continuing with the #OscarsSoWhite theme with some comedic moments, including coming back after a commercial break with "We're black," as well as a "Black History Month Minute" clip featuring Angela Bassett, who paid homage to ... Jack Black.
  2. One "joke" that Vulture calls an obvious Oscars troll: an inexplicable appearance by actress Stacey Dash, who came out onto the stage as a rep for the Oscars' "Minority Outreach Program" and simply declared, "I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month!" before walking off.
  3. Comedian Kevin Hart offering a bona fide congrats to people of color who didn't get nominated, noting: "These problems of today will become the problems of the old. Let's not let this negative issue of diversity beat us."
  4. Rock collecting money from the stars in the audience for his daughters' Girl Scout Cookie drive. Later in the evening, he tallied the take: a grand total of $65,243.
  5. "These people will never be rich as long as they live. ... They're going home in a Honda Civic." Louis CK while introducing the award for best documentary short and relaying how important the Oscar is to those winning that particular honor.
  6. "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen, which said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar. If this is the case, even if it isn't the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world." Sam Smith upon winning the Oscar for best original song. (He's not the first: Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, and Stephen Sondheim have all taken home the same award.)

  1. Rock bringing wood blocks to raise young presenters Jacob Tremblay (The Room) and Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation) up to microphone level.
  2. Vice President Joe Biden introducing Lady Gaga's gripping performance of "Til It Happens To You" from The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape on college campuses. Her emotional rendition was accompanied by an appearance by actual survivors of assault. Biden implored the audience to "to take the pledge that says I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given. Let's change the culture."
  3. Presenter Sacha Baron Cohen's appearance as his alter ego Ali G, who addressed the diversity issue by inquiring: "How come there's no Oscarer [sic] for dem very hard-working little yellow people with tiny dongs? You know—da Minions." Some denounced this as racist on Twitter, as well as what Vulture calls Rock's "horribly tone-deaf" joke that it said perpetuated the stereotype of Asian kids being good at math (click to see the clip).
  4. "Make sure once and forever that the color of the skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair." Alejandro G. Innaritu upon winning for best director.
  5. "Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take tonight for granted." Leonardo DiCaprio speaking about climate change upon accepting his award for best actor.
Click for the night's big winners, more of the best, worst, and weirdest moments, or to see red carpet arrivals. (More Oscars stories.)

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