Kevin Hart on Stacey Dash's Black History Month Oscars Moment: 'That Was Awkward'

Oscars 2016: Kevin Hart Calls Stacey Dash Moment Awkward
Kevin Hart and Stacey Dash
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; A.M.P.A.S/REX/Shutterstock

02/29/2016 AT 08:40 AM EST

Fox News commentator Stacey Dash has been one of the most outspoken critics of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign.

The Clueless star has suggested abolishing the BET Awards and even Black History Month as examples of "segregation" – so jaws dropped (and Chrissy Teigen cringed her way into a meme) when Academy Awards host Chris Rock brought her onstage Sunday night to say, "I cannot wait to help my people out. Happy Black History Month!"

Kevin Hart on Stacey Dash's Black History Month Oscars Moment: 'That Was Awkward'| Academy Awards, Oscars 2016, Movie News, TV News, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Stacey Dash

Kevin Hart and Stacey Dash

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images; A.M.P.A.S / REX / Shutterstock

Actor Kevin Hart – whose prolific movie career was the subject of Rock's jokes – was as shocked as the rest of the audience.

"That was awkward," he told reporters at the Oscar Salute, Powered by Maserati, afterparty in Hollywood. "I'm not gonna lie and say I didn't think that was awkward. I think everybody did. I didn't believe she was walking out here, so when she did, I thought, 'All right, I guess.' That's the only thing where I think a lot of people were positively confused."

As for his friend's overall job earning laughs during such a controversial year, Hart, 36, applauded Rock, 51.

Check out PEOPLE's full Academy Awards 2016 coverage and complete winners list!

"I thought he was amazing, amazing," he told PEOPLE. "I thought he did a really good job. At the end of the day, he set the tone, he made it his own and I think that's dope. I think that’s what it’s about. You hold something like this and you want to stand out, and that's what he did tonight."

"I think that’s what makes Chris Chris, you know?" he added. "He’s going to say harsh things, he’s going to go right for the jugular, but what he’s saying is what other people are afraid to say."
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