Chris Rock will not step down from hosting the Oscars this year, despite calls for the comedian to do so following no African American nominees in any acting categories for the second year in a row, according to Entertainment Tonight.
However, Rock fully intends to address the issue and has reworked his opening monologue to focus on people’s ire over the lack of diversity, Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin told Nischelle Turner.
“Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room,” Hudlin told ET. “As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.'”
Hudlin put all of his confidence behind Rock and where the comic will now take the ceremony.
“Chris is that thorough,” Hudlin said, according to ET. “He’s that brilliant, and I have 1000 percent confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks.”
The audience should expect plenty of jokes about the controversy, he added.
“And, yes, the Academy is ready for him to do that,” Hudlin said. “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.”
On the other side of the argument director and actor Tyler Perry shares his thoughts in the aftermath of an outcry that the 88th Academy Award nominations are shockingly lacking in diversity — with all 20 acting nominations going to white actors and movies like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Creed” not making the cut for the Best Picture category — Perry’s response you ask?
“I think that the way the Academy can stop this is very simple. Rather than saying who votes — I don’t want to know who voted and how they voted — I’d just like to see the numbers,” he says.
As it stands, all information surrounding the voting for Academy Award nominations is kept completely confidential. That secrecy leaves many wondering what, exactly, it will take to get a more diverse group of Oscar contenders.
“I think if we saw the numbers of how many people voted for what movie, I think a lot of this would go away,” Perry continues. “If ‘The Revenant’ has 10,000 votes and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ had 9,999 votes, that one vote made the difference. That’s what my interest would be, what are the votes.”
Still, he doesn’t believe race is the issue at hand. “I don’t think it’s racism, I don’t think it’s madness,” Perry explains. “What are the votes and how does that go? Even in the presidential election we know who voted and how they voted.”
While Perry might see as the issue as something other than racism, that didn’t stop the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite from trending after the nominations were announced. The online movement started a year ago after the 2015 nominations were found to be decidedly non-diverse. Welp, there you have it! Chris Rock vs. Tyler Perry #OscarsSoQuestionable?
The 88th Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 28, on ABC.