The world has been abuzz since Chris Rock made a bold Oscar claim about Jada Pinkett Smith during his new Netflix stand-up special. In a segment that has been widely shared on social media, Rock argues that while it’s understandable that Pinkett Smith was upset about the lack of diversity at the Oscars, she wasn’t the right person to make that argument.

Rock’s comments have sparked heated debate in the entertainment industry, with many people coming out to defend Pinkett Smith and others chiming in to support Rock’s assertion that there are bigger issues at play when it comes to diversity and representation in Hollywood.

First, let’s break down what Rock actually said. In the stand-up routine, titled “Tamborine,” Rock discusses the controversy surrounding the 2016 #OscarsSoWhite movement, which was sparked by the fact that all 20 acting nominees that year were white.

“Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,” Rock quips. He goes on to argue that while he understands why Pinkett Smith was upset, he believes there are bigger issues at play.

“Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” – @chrisrock

— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) February 14, 2018

“The thing is, why are we protesting? That’s not the question,” Rock says. “Why this Oscars? Why this Oscars, you know? It’s the 88th Academy Awards. It’s like, I’m sure it wasn’t the best show 86 years ago. It was like, ‘This is sucks, too.’ You know? … The real question is, are we making movies that matter?”

Rock’s argument is that the problem with Hollywood isn’t just the Oscars, but rather the lack of diversity and representation in the movies being made in the first place.

“I’m sure there were no black nominees some of those years, say ’62 or ’63, and black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time,” he says. “You know? We had real things to protest. You know? Too busy getting lynched and beaten and shot.”

Rock’s comments about Pinkett Smith have been widely interpreted as a criticism of her decision to boycott the Oscars in 2016. Pinkett Smith, who is married to actor Will Smith, famously posted a video on social media announcing that she wouldn’t be attending the Oscar ceremony that year.

“Begging for acknowledgement or even asking diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people and we are powerful,” she said in the video. “So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”

Pinkett Smith’s decision to boycott the Oscars was seen by many as a call to action for other people of color in the entertainment industry to demand change.

Rock’s argument, however, is that the Oscars themselves aren’t the problem – it’s the lack of diversity in the industry as a whole. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by other comedians and actors in recent years, including Aziz Ansari and Jordan Peele.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, Peele – who would go on to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his film “Get Out” in 2018 – said that the entertainment industry needs to do more to support people of color and other marginalized groups.

“We have to stop treating diversity as if it’s a charity and start treating it as if it’s the winning team,” he said. “We have to stop treating it as if it’s an obligation and start treating it as if it’s an opportunity.”

The debate around Rock’s comments is just the latest example of the ongoing conversation about diversity and representation in Hollywood. While many people agree with Rock’s assertion that there are bigger issues to tackle than the Oscars themselves, there are others who believe that the Oscars can and should be a catalyst for change.

Ultimately, the debate highlights the fact that there is no easy answer when it comes to improving diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. It’s a complex issue that requires meaningful action from both individuals and institutions across the industry.

Whether or not Pinkett Smith agrees with Rock’s comments remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the conversation around diversity and representation isn’t going away anytime soon. As Peele said in his 2016 interview, “We have to be vigilant in making change. And we have to be patient.”