A collective sharp intake of breath swept across the rows of the Oscars Sunday night as host Chris Rock announced a surprise guest appearance by who he called the Academy’s new “Director of the Minority Outreach Program,” Stacey Dash.
The “Clueless” star raised a lot of eyebrows (and hands to faces) when she declared on “Fox and Friends” last month that “there shouldn’t be a Black History Month. You know?” She also explained her views on black-focused media.
“We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way round, we would be up in arms. It’s a double standard,” Dash said, ignoring an entertainment industry-wide status quo that habitually shuts out people of color.
Reactions in the audience and on social media were predictably disapproving.
— Stacey Dash (@REALStaceyDash) February 29, 2016
— Elizabeth C (@ecctv) February 29, 2016
Was that Stacey Dash? Or did I just die? #OscarsSoWhite
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) February 29, 2016
Upon seeing Stacey Dash pic.twitter.com/TBXLOJZ4va
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 29, 2016
Dash, obviously anticipating the reaction to her appearance, tweeted a link to a blog post she’d pre-written immediately afterward, in which she reiterates her stance.
“We need to stop complaining about white people oppressing us, we shouldn’t boycott the Oscars, and we need to support Chris Rock the host,” Dash writes.
Meanwhile, Rock sent out a tweet of his own suggesting no regrets.
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 29, 2016