Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent are urging Chris Rock to step down as host of the 2016 Oscars.
Gibson made the admission in a candid new interview with People on January 20, where he called for Rock to boycott the prestigious awards show due to the lack of diversity in its nominees.
“There’s no joke that [Chris Rock] can crack. There is no way for him to seize the moment and come into this thing and say, ‘I’m going to say this and say that I’m going to address the issue but then I’m still going to keep my gig as the host.’ The statement that you make is that you step down,” Gibson told the magazine of Chris.
The singer and actor then made the pretty controversial suggestion that if Rock was homosexual and the Academy had failed to nominate homosexual actors in the 2016 ceremony, he would have already stepped down as the show’s host.
“If they purposefully left out all homosexuals and gays from being nominated for an Oscar, if the host Chris Rock was a homosexual, he would have stepped down already,” Tyrese suggested to People.
Rapper 50 Cent is also urging Chris to step down as the show’s host for 2016, taking to Instagram to suggest Rock boycott the show and not fulfill his hosting duties.
“Chris please do not do the oscars awards [sic],” 50 Cent wrote on his official Instagram page on January 19 alongside a photo of the comedian, adding, “You mean a lot man, don’t do it. Please [sic].”
The 88th Academy Awards, which is set to take place on February 28, 2016, have been surrounded by controversy ever since the nominations were announced on January 14. Both Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee confessed that they plan to boycott the prestigious awards show as a direct result of the lack of diversity of actors nominated.
However, whether or not Chris Rock should step down as Oscars host is dividing opinion.
Comedian Arsenio Hall took to Twitter to voice his opinion on the controversy, writing on the 140-character site that he feels Chris should still host the awards show next month.
“Here’s my 1 cents. I REALLY hope Chris Rock does NOT pull out of the Oscar hosting gig,” Hall wrote on the social media site, “It’s so important that he’s on the mic that nite [sic].”
Actress Whoopi Goldberg also addressed the nominations on the daytime talk show The View, suggesting that those who have taken issue with the lack of diversity should boycott the movies themselves rather than the Oscars.
“Chris Rock is the host of the Academy Awards, and to boycott him seems just as bad as what everybody is saying,” Goldberg, an Oscar winner herself, said earlier this month. “We have this conversation every year, and it p***** me off.”
So far, Chris Rock has kept pretty low profile when it comes to the swirling controversy surrounding the lack of diversity in the nominees at the big show, although he did take to Twitter on January 15 to describe the Oscars as being the “white BET Awards.”
Posting a 15-second commercial for his gig as show host, Rock wrote to his more than 3.7 million Twitter followers, “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.”
Chris first hosted the Academy Awards back in 2005, where CNN reported that he opened the show by directly addressing the inclusion of African American actors.
“It’s a great night tonight,” Rock said as the show began, “We have four black nominees tonight. It’s kind of like the ‘Def Oscar Jam’ tonight.”
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[Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]