Diversity row: Pressure mounts on Chris Rock to quit as Oscars host

Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent among others have asked the Hollywood actor to step down

Entertainment Desk January 22, 2016
Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent among others have asked the Hollywood actor to step down. PHOTO: FILE

Chris Rock is set to return this year as host of the 88th Academy Awards but things might not go as planned.

Amid the hue and cry over the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars, the Hollywood actor is facing pressure from fellow celebrities to step down.

R&B singer-songwriter Tyrese Gibson and rapper 50 Cent are among many others who have requested Chris to bow out of the ceremony.

Will Smith joins Oscars boycott, says he won't attend

In an interview with the People magazine, Tyrese said, "The statement that you make is, you step down. That's what you do."

While 50 Cent posted a picture of Rock on Instagram with the caption, "Chris please do not do the Oscars awards. You mean a lot man, don't do it. Please."

Earlier, filmmaker Spike Lee and actor Jada Pinkett Smith also announced to skip the February 28 awards ceremony in protest.

Oscar nominations 2016: Actors of colour ignored

Spike extended his support to Chris on Good Morning America this Wednesday. "He's going to do what he wants to do, and I'm going to support either way," he said.

Jada, whose husband Will Smith was overlooked for his role in Concussion this year, also announced on social media that she would not attend this year's extravaganza.

Academy head 'heartbroken' over lack of diversity at Oscars

Later, Will showed support to his wife saying, “There is a position that we hold in this community, and if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem."

On the other hand, Oscar-winning actor Whoopi Goldberg advised fans to boycott the movies not the Oscars.

"Chris Rock is the host of the Academy Awards, and to boycott him seems just as bad as what everybody is saying," she said on the talk show.

Chris has yet to comment on the ongoing controversy.


Thomas Berg | 5 years ago | Reply I understand the African-American community may perceive the lack of Black nominees as racism. What everyone needs to remember is that Blacks make up a relatively small percentage of the population. They also tend to grow up in underprivileged neighborhoods. There are very few African-Americans growing up with the opportunities of Caucasian-Americans. I believe this is reflected in the Oscars. The White community feels the Black community is constantly pulling the race card. This is totally understandable. The NBA all-star nominations are in. Once again, the field is predominately Black even though the population is predominately White. However, I haven't seen any articles about Whites boycotting NBA games. I think there is something to learn from this. Awards should be based on a combination of talent and hard work that produce a superior performance. That's it. Watering down the awards show with obligatory awards to minorities will have lasting negative effects. Who wants to watch an NBA all-star game with a bunch of undeserving White people nominated because of racial quotas? The same applies to the Oscars. If the African-American community wants to be better represented at the Oscars, talent and hard work will go a long way. Invest in educating Black children in the arts and the fruits will be seen in the next generation. Teach the children to work hard for awards. Do not teach them to run away if something doesn't go their way. The cycle continues with this boycott.
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