Oscars 2016: Host Chris Rock calls event 'White People's Choice Awards'

There were no holds barred in host Chris Rock's opening monologue at the 88th Academy Awards, or as he called them, the "White People's Choice Awards".

Viewers took to social media as soon as Rock's monologue began, with some criticising the comedian's approach, while others gave praise.

Rock was quick to address the "White Oscars" elephant-in-the-room issue which has surrounded the awards since the nominees were announced earlier this year, which revealed all nominees in the major categories were white.

"If this job was nominated, I wouldn't have got this gig, you'd be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now," Rock said

"I thought about quitting," he added, "I thought real hard, but then I thought they're going to have the Oscars anyway, and the last thing I need is to lose a job to Kevin Hart".

Rock also took a jab at boycotter Jada Pickett Smith (wife of Concussion actor Will Smith), saying, "Jada got mad, but Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rhianna's panties, I wasn't invited.

"The big question", Rock went on to say, "is why are we protesting this Oscars? It's the 88th awards, which means this 'no black Oscars' thing must have happened at least 70 other times.

"Black people didn't protest why? 'Cause we had real things to protest at the time."

The host suggested that the awards may need to introduce black categories.

"If you want black nominees every year you need to have back categories ... like best black friend. And the winner for the 18th year in a row in Wanda Sykes," he said. "Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right Hollywood is racist. Hollywood is sorority racist.

"This in memoriam package is just going to be black people shot by the police on their way to the movies."

Rock concluded his monologue by emphasising the importance of equal opportunity.

"It's time to stop boycotting things, what we want is equal opportunity."

Rock also addressed sexism on the red carpet.

"Your'e not allowed to ask people what they're wearing anymore, but everything's not racism, everythings not sexism, all guys are wearing the exact same thing.

"If Matthew McConaughey rolled up in a lime green suit up with a swan coming out his a**, people would ask what he's wearing."