As controversy continues to swirl around the Academy Awards ceremony next month, many have been wondering if Chris Rock will step down as Oscar host, but he's instead using the opportunity for what promises to be a helluva opening to the show.
Speaking with ET, Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin revealed that Rock will address the ongoing concerns around the Oscars.
"Chris is hard at work. He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room. As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, 'I'm throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show,'" he said, adding: "You should expect [#OscarsSoWhite jokes]. And, yes, the Academy is ready for him to do that. 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."
One wonders if "45 Years" star and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling will be targeted by Rock, following her comments that the controversy is "racist to white people." However, the actress is now walking her comments back, suggesting that her views were misconstrued —she released the following statement to CBS News:
I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted this week in my interview with Europe 1 Radio. I simply meant to say that in an ideal world, every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration. I am very honored to be included in this year's wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses.
Diversity in our industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I am highly encouraged by the changes announced today by the Academy to diversify its membership.
In light of the Academy announcing how it'll double minority and women membership by 2020 and Rampling apologizing, does that mean the fight is over? Hardly. April Reign, who started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and is the Managing Editor for BroadwayBlack, says that while the first steps have been made to address the issue, there will be more activism to come.
"...[what] we'll be doing this year, we're not ready to announce just what yet, but it'll be on an even grander scale because there's still work to be done. I'm very gratified with the announcement that the Academy made, because I think the changes they will be making are important. But that doesn't speak to this year. So we're going to continue with our original plan," she told NPR.