Neil Patrick Harris's first Oscars joke was about the Academy's unbearable whiteness

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The run-up to this year's Oscars has proved a big, public stage for thorny issues of social equality. On the red-carpet side of things, activists and actors alike championed the #AskHerMore movement, pressing for interviewers to ask women about more than their clothes.

But of course, the race issue remains as the award ceremony itself plays out. As we detailed previously, this year's Oscars are about the whitest in a really long time.

To wit: Every single Oscar-nominated actor this year is white. Of the movies nominated for Best Picture, seven out of eight are about a white man's struggle. "Selma," of course, did get a best picture nod — but its director, Ava DuVernay, got robbed of a Best Director nod. And that's all a shame, because while Hollywood is looking pretty bleached, the world of TV is getting more diverse — and it's paying off.


So in the face of all of that, props go to the host of the Oscars themselves, Neil Patrick Harris. Because he just did this, within the very first minute of the ceremonies: "Tonight we honor Hollywood's best and whitest." A second later, he corrected it to "brightest."

Oh snap.

Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.

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