Cringe at any talk you hear about how Chris Rock ought to quit his hosting gig at this year’s Academy Awards to boycott the upcoming event alongside the other black celebrities who plan to. Because if you know anything about Rock, you know that the first things that’ll come flying out of that man’s mouth are jokes about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Variety confirms that hunch with a report about how Rock completely scrapped the monologue he was originally going to use to open up the Academy Awards and went back to the drawing board after people like Jada Pinkett Smith; her husband, Will Smith; and Spike Lee kicked up dust about how the Academy Awards can’t seem to recognize quality performances when they’re done by black actors.
Reginald Hudlin, a producer for this year’s awards show, explained to Entertainment Tonight on Saturday how Rock literally had to start from scratch to account for all the new race discussions surrounding the awards show.
“Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room,” Hudlin said, according to Variety. “As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.’”
Hudlin predicts that Rock’s content will be one for the history books: “Chris is that thorough. He’s that brilliant, and I have 1,000 percent confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks.”
It’s nice to hear that the academy is giving Rock free rein to address the controversy as he, an African American, sees fit.
“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.”
Go in, Rock. Go in.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.