Chris Rock might not be stepping down from his Oscars hosting gig this year, but he will address the controversy.
According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, Rock’s preparations as Oscars master of ceremonies took a sharp left as actors expressed their discontent with the lack of diversity amongst the nominees. Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin said that Rock had his material prepared a week before things boiled over, and went back to the drawing board to create more provocative material to match the provocative times.
“Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room,” Hudlin said. “As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.'”
The outrage surrounding the exclusion of actors of color from the Oscar nominees list garnered reactions from the likes of Lupita N’yongo, Don Cheadle, George Clooney and Will and Jada Smith, the latter of whom have openly decided to boycott this year’s show. Rock–who is known for his ballsy take on current events–already has the backing of the Academy to do what he does best, according to Hudlin.
“You should expect [#OscarsSoWhite jokes],” Hudlin told ET. “And, yes, the Academy is ready for him to do that. They’re excited about him doing that. They know that’s what we need. They know that’s what the public wants, and we deliver what the people want.”
A few have even pleaded with Rock to quit his Oscars hosting slot, including Tyrese, who urged the comedian to write a statement instead.
“Chris Rock do the right thing make a statement – were relying on you to DO the right thing…”
Looks like he’ll be doing his own version of the right thing on Feb 28.