Oscars host Chris Rock opened the 88th Academy Awards by declaring Hollywood is "racist" and admitting he considered boycotting the ceremony because of the absence of black acting nominees.
The comedian, who welcomed the audience in the Dolby Theatre to the "white People's Choice Awards", said: "This is the wildest Oscars to host because there are no black nominees.
"People told me, 'Chris, you should boycott, you should quit'."
"How come only unemployed tell you to quit something? No-one with a job tells you to quit. I thought about quitting, I thought about it real hard but then I thought they are going to have the Oscars anyway and the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart."
Dressed in a white tuxedo jacket and black bow tie, he joked about the fact Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith all boycotted the ceremony over the absence of black nominees in the acting categories.
He added: "This year things will be a little different, the In Memoriam package will be black people shot by the cops on their way to the movies.
"Yes, I said it. If you want black nominees every year you need to have black categories, there is no real reason to have a man and woman category in acting. There is no reason, it's not track and field, you don't have to separate them.
"Robert De Niro never said: "I had better slow this acting down so Meryl Streep can catch up."
"Everyone wants to know is Hollywood racist? You have to go at it the the right way. Is it burning-cross racist? Fetch-me-some-lemonade racist? No. It's a different kind of racist."
He continued: "Is Hollywood racist? You're damn right it's racist but it's sorority racist.
"We like you Rhonda but you're not a Kappa." That's how Hollywood is but things are changing."
He also called for black actors to receive the same opportunities as white actors, saying: "It's not about boycotting anything, we want opportunities.
"We want to get the same opportunities and not just once. Leo gets a great part every year, people get great parts all the time."
The first Oscar of the evening went to Spotlight, the story of how the Boston Globe newspaper exposed abuse by Roman Catholic clergy. The film picked up the best original screenplay gong, which was collected by co-writers Tom McCarthy, who also directed the film, and Josh Singer.
The Oscar for best adapted screenplay went to The Big Short, a film about greed and the collapse of the housing market. It was collected by Adam McKay, who also directed the film, and his writing partner Charles Randolph.