Oscars host Chris Rock has scrapped his Academy Award ceremony script and started from scratch after ignoring immense pressure to step down altogether.
Instead, the 50-year-old comedian decided to stay on and now he has the full backing of the show’s organizers to mock the issue fueling the #OscarsSoWhite debate.
“He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room,” Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin told Entertainment Tonight. “As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.’”
The controversy started after the nominations were announced and no non-white actors had been nominated in the acting categories for the second consecutive year. Since then, major Hollywood stars announced a boycott of the event and Rock was urged to step down as host.
Rock, however, reportedly felt he could do more good by staying and he has the full backing of the Academy to address the issue, Hudlin said: “They know that’s what we need. They know that’s what the public wants, and we deliver what the people want.”
Rock himself is obviously saving his comments for the ceremony itself, as he has remained largely silent over the controversy. “Chris is that thorough. He’s that brilliant, and I have 1000% confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks,” Hudlin said.