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Billy Crystal Blackface: Oscars Host Causes Controversy With Sammy Davis Jr. Impression (VIDEO)

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After director Brett Ratner resigned as Oscars producer in disgrace because he uttered a homosexual slur, it was assumed that new Academy Awards producer Brian Grazer and host Billy Crystal would keep things decidedly P.C. About that: during the opening sketch of the 84th annual Academy Awards -- where Crystal put himself in a number of the Best Picture nominees -- the nine-time host appeared in blackface as Sammy Davis Jr.

Crystal was onscreen with Justin Bieber -- in a sly nod to the demographic problems faced by the Oscars telecast, Bieber joked that he was there for the 18-24 year olds -- during a "Midnight in Paris" spoof when the comedian also showed up as Davis.

"Billy, is Biebs the young Sinatra, or am I nuts," Crystal-as-Davis said to himself through the magic of technology.

Crystal would often appear as Sammy Davis Jr. during the 1980s, but the sight of him in blackface at the 2012 Oscars stunned many viewers and media professionals on Twitter.

"If you had 3 minutes for First Blackface of the Night in your #Oscars pool, congratulations!" New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff joked.

Check out a smattering of opinions on Crystal's blackface appearance below.

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