Oscars host Chris Rock says he used a photo opp with President Obama to remark to the commander in chief that Hollywood “doesn’t hire black people.”

The comedian didn’t shy away Sunday from the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards over the lack of black nominees in any of the top acting categories, quipping in his opening monologue that the 88th annual show is “otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards!”

“Is Hollywood racist?” Rock asked the black-tie clad audience.


“You got to go at that at the right way. Is it ‘burning cross’ racist? No. Is it ‘fetch me some lemonade’ racist? No. It’s a different type of racist,” Rock said.

The entertainer then recalled attending a fundraiser for Obama with “all of Hollywood” and roughly “four black people” — himself, record producer Quincy Jones, Def Jam Co-Founder Russell Simmons, and musician Questlove.

“So at some point you get to take a picture with the president,” Rock said.

“As they’re setting up the picture, you get like a little moment with the president. I’m like, ’Mr. President, you see all these writers, and producers and actors? They don’t hire black people. And they’re the nicest white people on Earth! They’re liberals. Cheese!’

“You’re damn right Hollywood is racist,” Rock concluded.

Obama weighed in on the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars after the nominations were announced last month, saying, “I think that when everyone’s story is told then that makes for better art.”

The president said the Oscar debate “is really just an expression of this broader issue. Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?”

Ahead of the ceremony, Rev. Al Sharpton led several dozen demonstrators in a protest, with signs reading "Hollywood Must Do Better" and "Shame on You," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"This will be the last night of an all-white Oscars," Sharpton said.