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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 1,000 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.”
Hudlin did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.
The Academy Awards are Feb. 28.
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