Hollywood actor/director Chris Rock is reportedly still set to host next month’s Academy Awards despite backlash from various high-profile celebrities.
According to reports, Rock will still be the face of February’s annual ceremony.
Variety had first reported Friday that sources said Rock would remain as host of the ceremony. Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin told Entertainment Tonight at Saturday’s NAACP Image Awards lunch that Rock’s opening monologue will address the #OscarsSoWhite conversation in a big way. Rock reportedly reworked his entire set of jokes when such figures as Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith announced they would be boycotting the ceremony. (Variety)
Earlier this week, actor Will Smith announced he would not attend the Oscars.
“She’s deeply passionate and when she is moved, she has to go,” he said. “And I heard her words and I was knocked over, I was happy to be married to that woman but I appreciated the push. There’s a position that we hold in this community and if we’re not a part of the solution we’re part of the problem,” he continued. “And it was her call to action for herself and for me and for our family to be a part of the solution. I think that diversity is the American superpower – I think that I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great.” (USA Today)
Music icon Quincy Jones has also revealed the possibility of not attending the ceremony over the lack of diversity in its nominees.
The legendary producer is the first African American on the Academy’s board of governors and on Wednesday he told reporters, “We’ve got to find a solution. It’s been going on for too long.” Quincy said he planned to ask for 5 minutes in front of the board to discuss the hottest topic in Hollywood, and if they don’t give him the time … he says he’ll refuse to present at the Oscars. He’s supposed to present an award with Common and Pharrell Williams. (TMZ)
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, who won Best Supporting Actress a couple years ago, issued a statement on the Academy Awards drama late Tuesday (January 19) night.