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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- "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.
- "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.)
- Rock bringing wood blocks to raise young presenters Jacob Tremblay (The Room) and Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation) up to microphone level.
- 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."
- 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).
- "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.
- "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.
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