Yes, you read that right. Bill O’Reilly is a member of the #OscarsSoWhite club. But of course, he made a point of strutting his “I’m looking out for white folks” stuff so that nobody thinks he’s gone soft on African Americans.
In a discussion about the Oscars last night, O’Reilly attacked Chris Rock’s joke, “This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just gonna be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”
“Say you’re a police officer,” O’Reilly hypothesized, then noted that on the night of the Oscars three police officers had been shot in Virginia, with one of them dying. The shooter was "a black Army sergeant," O'Reilly made a point of noting. "OK, so say you know those people and then you hear Rock… Would that strike you as funny?”
Of course, there’s absolutely no connection. But if you think there is one, say you’re an African American and you hear Donald Trump refuse to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan on the day that an unarmed black man you know got killed. Would Trump's comments strike you as a non-story, as O’Reilly called it?
But I digress. When guest Katie Pavlich said, in her lecturing tone to African Americans (does she have any other?), that Oscars are earned, not given out based on skin color, O’Reilly gave this surprising response:
O’REILLY: Number one, the people who vote on the Oscars are overwhelmingly white and elderly. They have to change that to be fair, I would think.
O’Reilly quickly turned back to criticizing Rock. “I didn’t like the cop thing,” O’Reilly reiterated. “I would have taken my pen and said, ‘No cop thing.’ He also complained that Rock “fed into the grievance industry.”
“So okay, ‘Our ancestors got lynched and raped by white people,’ O’Reilly continued. “Okay. Every group in the world can say that—not to the extent that African-Americans can say that—but is it doing any good?”
Rock “did make fun of both sides,” O’Reilly acknowledged to guest Juan Williams. “I just worry that younger people who don’t have your frame of reference say, ‘You know what? Whities, they do this, they do that, it just feeds into that historical grievance industry that I think we have to get past.”
As if Fox isn’t a grievance industry all its own, but for white conservatives.
Pavlich continued her lecture by saying that the population of African Americans in Hollywood is representative of the U.S. population as a whole. “If they want more leading roles, they should take it up with liberal Hollywood which is supposed to be this utopia of diversity and progress,” she sneered.
That’s when O’Reilly came out with this even more surprising remark.
O’REILLY: Well, look, I can tell you all day long about liberal Hollywood, since I’m a movie mogul now and it’s not a grand place in many, many areas. But I do sympathize with the black entertainment folks. This Oscar thing? They gotta change this thing. ‘Cause it’s way, way too white and way, way senior citizens.
The music started playing to end the discussion.
Watch it below, from the February 29 The O’Reilly Factor, via Media Matters.