The 88th annual Academy Awards started with a bang Sunday night when host Chris Rock walked on stage as Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" played. Rock wanted the song to be used for his entrance, but the band wasn't happy to hear their music played during the 2016 Oscars.
Group member Professor Griff told TMZ that the Academy Awards was "just paying lip service to black protestors" with the song. He believes the academy is not representative of what Public Enemy stand for, which is all about change. Unfortunately for Griff, Universal Music owns the rights to the song, so the group wasn't able to prevent it from being used.
"The show can't claim the blackness of Public Enemy's message," Griff said.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Oscars music supervisor Byron Phillips said he picked the song to "set the tone" for Rock's opening, while having more "aggressive" music for this year's Academy Awards. "Fight the Power" was also played at the end of the show when the credits rolled.
"['Fight the Power' is] such an anthem for our generation that it made more sense to, first of all, have a contemporary feel, and just [for] the association with what you think of when you think of Chris," Phillips dished.
Phillips added that Rock wanted the song to play as he took the stage. When the song stopped playing to begin the show, Rock immediately went into his opening monologue where he addressed the diversity controversy that had made headlines in the weeks leading up to the Oscars.
Rock joked about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting when "they weren't invited," while also saying Hollywood was "sorority racist." He then added that the point of the boycotts is that black actors just want the same opportunities as white actors. You can watch Rock's monologue here.