Chris Rock’s publicist has shut down claims that the Oscars host is rewriting his opening speech in the wake of a race row surrounding the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.
Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin told Entertainment Weekly on Saturday that Chris and his staff were scrapping the old script and rewriting a new show to address the unfolding controversy.
Rock’s publicist Leslie Sloane stepped out to slam the reports, saying no one could speak for the comedian.
Comedian Chris Rock will be hosting this year’s Oscars. A race row has erupted since the nominations revealed all the nominations in the best actor categories are white
His publicist denied producer Reginald Hudlin’s claims that he was rewriting the show to address the unfolding controversy. Rock has stayed quiet about what will happen, but posted a tweet in January 15 calling the award show ‘The White BET Awards’
She told the Hollywood Reporter: ‘Chris has made no decisions about the content of the show. All will be revealed on February 28th. We will not comment further on this.’
Spike Lee, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith spoke out when all the nominees in this year’s bexst acting categories were revealed to be white. The three will be boycotting the event on February 28th.
Their decisions have sparked a wider debate about diversity in Hollywood, and several actors have come under fire for their comments.
Charlotte Rampling, who is nominated for Best Actress for her work in 45 Years, said their complaints were ‘anti-white racism.’
Jada Pinkett Smith (left), along with her husband Will Smith and Spike Lee will be boycotting the event. Charlotte Rampling (right), who is nominated for Best Actress this year, said that ‘perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list’
She said: ‘Maybe the black actors don’t deserve to be on the final stretch? One can never really know but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list.’
Julie Delpy, who wrote and directed 2 Days in New York, starred alongside Chris Rock in the 2012 romantic comedy.
She was criticized this week for saying: ‘Two years ago, I said something about the Academy being very white male, which is the reality, and I was slashed to pieces by the media.
‘It’s funny – women can’t talk. I sometimes wish I were African American because people don’t bash them afterward.
Julie Delpy (left), was also criticized for saying: ‘I sometimes wish I were African American because people don’t bash them afterward.’ Delpy starred alongside Chris Rock in her 2012 romantic comedy, 2 Days in New York
She went on to say: ‘It’s the hardest to be a woman. Feminists is something people hate above all. Nothing worse than being a woman in this business. I really believe that.’
She has since apologized for her remarks and clarified that she didn’t mean to ‘diminish the injustice done to African American artists’.
Hollywood names such as Danny DeVito, William H. Macy, Reese Witherspoon, and Mark Ruffalo have also chimed in since the nominations were revealed on January 14.
Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted and issued a video explaining her boycott of this year’s Oscars event on February 28. The Academy President has since released a statement announcing a plan to diversify membership
Last Friday, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced a plan to diversify the membership moving forward.
He said: ‘The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up.
‘These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.’
In a statement, the Academy said that the ‘goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.’
The plan will invite a diverse pool of members to join and end the memberships of any individuals who have not been active in the industry for over a period of 10 years.