Chris Rock is reportedly under pressure to quit his job as host of the Academy Awards in response to the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees.
The comedian, who previously hosted the show in 2005, reacted almost immediately to the fact that all of the acting nominees were white after last week’s announcement ceremony, writing on Twitter; ‘The Oscars. The White BET Awards.’
This is the second year in a row that all the acting nominees have been white, which is one of the reasons that some in Hollywood have decided to boycott the show, most notably director Spike Lee who received an honorary Oscar in November and was to be lauded at the ceremony.
Jada Pinkett Smith also announced she would not be attending, though she and Lee did both show their support for Rock when they released statements about their decision.
Also commenting on the situation was Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who said in a statement that changes were coming which would hopefully result in a more diverse group of nominees, and Academy members, in the years to come.
Isaacs, who in addition to being president of the Academy is also one of the invite-only group’s few non-white members, said in a statement on Monday; ‘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 then added; ‘As many of you know we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years.
‘But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly.’
Rock meanwhile is reportedly getting pressure to drop out according to some sources.
‘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,’ multiple sources told Naughty Gossip.
‘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.’