Bay Area residents react to diversity issues in Hollywood

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Chris Rock pulled no punches in his Oscars monologue. Rock tackled the diversity issue, early and often and people watching in the Bay Area weighed in on the diversity problem. (KGO-TV )

Chris Rock pulled no punches in his Oscars monologue. Rock tackled the diversity issue, early and often.

At the Academy of Friends Oscars watch party in San Francisco, people posed for pictures with 6-foot-tall men slathered in Oscar gold and had food prepared by some of San Francisco's best culinary artists. And yes, they laughed right along with Chris Rock's skewering of Hollywood.

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"'Rocky' takes place in a world where white athletes are as good as black athletes, so 'Rocky' is a science fiction movie," Rock said.

"It was entertaining, and he did a good job. And it needed to be said," said San Francisco resident Renee Ambre.
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Across town at the African American Shakespeare Company, black actors belted out their best during their staging of George C. Wolfe's "The Colored Museum."

The Internet hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and the problem of diversity in the business is nothing new here.

"We knew where we were, as actors of color, in this business, but it's an eye opening thing for the rest of America to see," said Actress Tavia Percia.

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The co-founder of the troupe says Hollywood has fallen into a risk-averse rut that may take some time to get out of.

"I think it takes years and time for someone to step up and say 'Hey, let's see if we can do this differently. Let's start taking some risks. And let's start championing stories that we haven't seen'" said co-founder of African American Shakespear Sherrie Young.

She made an interesting observation about the Oscars. The lack of diversity is not a problem in other awards shows like the Emmy's, Tony's, or Grammy's.

Reporter Matt Keller is in Hollywood, bringing you live coverage for ABC7 News. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for updates, and click here for full coverage on the Oscars.

For complete Oscars coverage click here.

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entertainmentOscarscelebritysouthern californiaactormoviemovie newsmoviesawardaward showsdiversityLos AngelesSan Francisco
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