Is Chris Rock Feeling the Pressure to Quit the Oscars?
After Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee announced that they were boycotting the Oscars over its lack of diversity, Chris Rock is now reportedly facing pressure to drop out as the ceremony's host.
It is the second year in a row that no men or women of color have been nominated in the four acting categories.
One source told Naughty Gossip, “Behind the scenes, Chris is under extreme pressure to pull out. Many leaders in the black community think he would help progress be made if he quits his hosting job at the Oscars. Chris is listening to what they have to say, but thinks he will have a bigger impact by doing the show. He thinks it is easier to make a difference from the inside. Chris has already started to write white people jokes for the show.”
Once the nominations were announced, Chris responded on Twitter, "The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.”
Dave Boone, who worked on nine Oscar telecasts, believes that Chris will stay on to host the show. He said to New York Daily News, "I don't think Chris would bail — if anything, this gives him the world's biggest platform and an excellent area for jokes that only he can do. Years ago, when Whoopi was hosting, (scandal-scarred director Eli) Kazan was getting the lifetime achievement award. I gave her a line, 'I thought the blacklist was me and Hattie McDaniel.' At the time, it was a joke that only Whoopi could do.”
He continued, “It's an enormous undertaking that requires 100% attention. It would be a tough spot for anyone who would potentially step in now. It's everything from writing the material for the broadcast to the necessary things like promos, which were shot in December.”
Due to the criticism, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African American, has released a statement to address the controversy: "I'd like to acknowledge the wonderful work of this year's nominees. While we celebrate their extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it's time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond."
She closed, "In 2016, the mandate is inclusion in all of its facets: gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. We recognize the very real concerns of our community, and I so appreciate all of you who have reached out to me in our effort to move forward together.”
While many are not happy about the Oscar nominations, Will Smith's former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star, Janet Hubert, called out Jada in a video. She explained, “I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people that you're talking about boycotting just because you didn't get a nomination, just because you didn't win? That is not the way life works, baby.” Hubert, who has criticized Will for years, was referring to his failure to be nominated for his work in the film “Concussion.” Watch!