Chris Rock says the 2016 Oscars “could go horribly wrong” as the #OscarsSoWhite controversy hits fever pitch. With this year’s list of nominees lacking diversity in the Academy Awards, it has many wondering how Rock will present himself at the biggest event in Hollywood of the year. While many have boycotted the Oscars due to mostly white talent being nominated for an award, Chris has vowed to commit himself to hosting the show.
Rock is ESSENCE’s annual Hollywood March Issue cover. The comedian talks about the Oscars and how he feels black women are treated in entertainment. The article is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Isabel Wilkerson. Interestingly enough, the interview was back in December 2015 — before the #OscarsSoWhite controversy really took off.
In the interview, Rock shares his views on diversity in Hollywood, hosting the Oscar Awards for a second time, and roles for black women in Hollywood.
Rock says in the interview that he’ll give it his best shot at this year’s Academy Awards on February 28, but hastens to add that anything could happen!
“I’m going to do my best,” says Rock. “It could go horribly wrong. Don’t ever think that it can’t. That’s when it goes wrong—when you don’t think there’s any chance of it going wrong. If you know it won’t, it probably won’t.”
— BET (@BET) February 6, 2016
Rock touched on the topic of black actresses in Hollywood. He reveals how much avoidance is placed on making films that don’t include African-American actresses. He asserts that many of Hollywood’s best black actresses would love to be in one particular white star’s shoes.
“I’ve never done a movie, any movie, the silliest movie, where someone, some studio person hasn’t gone, ‘Does the girl have to be black?’ It happens every time,” he says. “Black women get paid less than everybody in Hollywood. Everybody’s talking about Jennifer Lawrence. Talk to Gabrielle Union. If you want to hear stories, talk to Nia Long. Talk to Kerry Washington. They would love to get to Jennifer Lawrence’s place, or just be treated with the same amount of respect.”
Chris Rock claims that he’s always doing his part to remedy the disparity.
“I think everything I’ve ever done has had a significant role for a black or brown woman. I refuse not to,” he says. “I’ve never gone into battle without a black woman, you know, a movie battle. With Tichina Arnold in Everybody Hates Chris, I had to fight for Tichina. I’m not even going to tell you who the network wanted. She’s literally as good as Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfus or any of these chicks. They’re like, ‘Tichina who’?'”
— E! News (@ENews) February 6, 2016
More of Chris Rock’s interview will be seen in the March issue of ESSENCE, which hits newsstands on February 12.
According to Star2, there have been rumors that Chris Rock plans to lob some serious one-liners about the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars. Speculations came from Reginald Hudlin, who is co-producing the telecast. He said Chris Rock’s writing staff locked themselves in a room to re-write the monologue.
Rock’s spokeswoman — Leslie Sloane — denounced speculations that he was changing up the show’s monologue. She said neither Hudlin “nor anyone else speaks for Chris.”
“Chris has made no decisions about the content of the show. All will be revealed on February 28th,” Sloane wrote in a statement recently.
What can everyone expect from Chris Rock at the 2016 Oscars? Will anything go wrong or will his comedy be tame considering all the hype surrounding #OscarsSoWhite?
[AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]