On Sunday night, Oscars host Chris Rock brought some undeniable realness to the stage with constant reference to the absurd lack of diversity in Hollywood. To go hand in hand with Rock's statements, the Oscars decided to play Public Enemy's powerful anthem “Fight the Power” during both the intro and outro of the show. While the reception to the song didn't seem that bad at the time, the group wasn't very happy about their inclusion in the night.
“The show can't claim the blackness of Public Enemy's message,” Professor Griff told TMZ. Griff's comments fall in line with what Chuck D tweeted after the show, when he said that the song is beyond him and the group. “The point of the song is a call to making change eventually not just applauding the thought,” Chuck D wrote. Though Griff is active on Twitter, he has yet to tweet about the Oscars as of yet.
“[We wanted to] really set the tone for what the night was going to be and do something that was representative of Chris, and who Chris was, and the vibe and tone Chris wanted to set for the evening,” Oscars Music Supervisor Byron Phillips told EW. “There was obviously nothing more perfect than ‘Fight the Power’ for that.” Unfortunately for Public Enemy, they had no say in if “Fight the Power” could be used during the show because Universal Music Group owns the license to the song. We've reached out to the group for comment and will update when more details are made available.