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Public Enemy’s Chuck D Reacts to The Oscars’ Use of ‘Fight The Power’

by Alexandria Wojcik   Mar 1, 2016 09:01 AM EST

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During the 88th Academy Awards this past Sunday night, Public Enemy's "Fight The Power" soundtracked Chris Rock's walk onstage as the comedian reported for hosting duty amidst the "Oscars So White" diversity controversy; the seminal hip-hop anthem was played again as the show came to a close and the credits rolled. Chuck D noticed and reacted to the Oscars' use of the song via Twitter.

In a series of tweets, the ever-politically conscious Public Enemy frontman discussed protesting the Grammys and the importance of music education. About the Academy's decision to play "Fight The Power" while under scrutiny for being whitewashed Chuck D stated: "the point of the song is a call to making change eventually not just applauding the thought."

During the four hour long awards show, Rock managed to use his platform to illuminate the institution's lack of diversity. The comedian referred to the program as the "White People's Choice Awards" during his monologue and interviewed Straight Outta Compton screening attendees regarding the Oscars. Chuck D, who recently tweeted his support of Rock, saw past the #OscarsSoWhite narrative. In another tweet, He asserted that the issue of diversity (or lack thereof) in the mainstream film and music industries goes beyond the shortcomings of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: rather, the problem is the result of a systemic lack of appreciation for and celebration of the arts within the black community, Salon reports.

The MC also reminded fans that Hollywood has always been whitewashed, referencing the 1989 awards show when Spike Lee's opus Do The Right Thing went unrecognized while Driving Miss Daisy and Glory won the establishment accolades.

As Pitchfork points out, "Fight The Power" was the title theme of Do The Right Thing. Lee received an honorary Oscar for his filmmaking last November, but boycotted the 2016 awards ceremony, citing the fact that all 20 actors nominated this year for a best actor or supporting actor award were white. He attended a home Knicks game instead.

Watch the opening credits for Do The Right Thing, featuring Rosie Perez dancing to Public Enemy's powerful, ever-relevant hip-hop anthem below.

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