Comedic actor Chris Rock isn’t ditching his post as the host of the upcoming 88th Annual Academy Awards, at least according to Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin.
The acerbic actor had received calls in the past week to resign because of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, but instead, Rock wants to use the platform to poke fun at Hollywood privilege. Word is the 50-year-old even scrapped his original script in order to write a new, more relevant one that addresses diversity issues.
Rock will undoubtedly riff off of #OscarsSoWhite, and might help the situation by bringing in some humourous perspective.
“The Academy is ready for him to do that,” the Oscars producer added. “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.”
WATCH: Stars at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday praised the Academy’s plans to increase diversity among members and nominees, but agreed there was more to do
On Friday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body responsible for voting and selecting the nominees and winners of Oscars, pledged to double the number of female and minority members by 2020 in response to #OscarsSoWhite.
Director Ava DuVernay, who was snubbed by the Oscars last year for her film Selma, posted her approval of the new initiatives to Twitter, though she thinks it’ll still be a while before diversity is truly achieved.
Early Friday, British actress Charlotte Rampling was a guest on French radio show inrocks.tv. When asked about the current furor involving the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards she did not mince words.
“It is racist to whites,” she said. “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” said Rampling.
When asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should start using quotas to select nominees, she responded: “Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted. People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome,’ ‘Him, he’s too black,’ ‘He is too white.’ Someone will always be saying ‘You are too…’ But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?”
The actress’s comments conflict with opinions given by her fellow actors — including Mark Ruffalo and George Clooney — who support the calls for increased diversity.
Other celebrities gathering at the Sundance Film Festival this week are inevitably being asked about the furor.
Oscar nominee Don Cheadle, also at the film festival, agreed.
The nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards were announced on Jan. 14, and immediately after they were revealed, the Internet exploded with anger and vitriol. For the second straight year, there were no nominees of colour in the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.
Directors Spike Lee and Michael Moore, along with actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, have all announced they’re boycotting the Oscars ceremony due to the#OscarsSoWhite controversy.