Chris Rock has been tapped to host the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, although reports say that he is feeling some pressure about whether to proceed with his hosting duties or drop the gig.
The pressure comes from his fellow actors and friends in Hollywood who have hinted that he should boycott the awards show for not letting actors of color be nominated.
On Thursday, the Academy Awards released the list of nominees for the annual awards show. However, not a single person of color was included.
As a result, several Hollywood celebrities have expressed their disappointment with the decision, and decided not to attend this year’s event.
Jada Pinkett Smith, was among the first to announce that she and her husband, Will Smith, will not be going.
In a video that Smith posted on Facebook, the 44-year-old actress hinted that if there’s one person of color that can truly convey express their disappointment, it’s Chris Rock.
“Chris, I will not be at the Academy Awards, and I won’t be watching, but I can’t think of a better man to do the job at hand this year than you, my friend. Good luck,” she said in the short clip.
In an earlier post on Twitter, Jada Smith said that while people of color are often invited and welcomed to events to entertain, they are rarely recognized for their artistic performances.
“Should people of color refrain from participating altogether?” she said.
In addition, film director Spike Lee also said on Instagram on Monday that he and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, will not attend the awards night due to the same reasons.
Lee, 58, said that every year, there has been a lack of black nominees at the Oscars.
“For once (maybe), I would like the media to ask all the white nominees and studio heads how they feel about another all-white ballot,” said Lee, who in November received an honorary Oscar from the Academy.
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) January 18, 2016
Will Smith, who starred in the film Concussion, was not included in the list of nominees, and neither were other veteran actors like Idris Elba, Benicio del Toro, Samuel L. Jackson, Abraham Attah, and Michael B. Jordan, who played Apollo Creed’s son in Creed.
Meanwhile, Jordan’s co-star Sylvester Stallone, who played an older Rocky Balboa, was nominated for best supporting actor.
After the list of nominees was released, the hashtag #OscarsStillSoWhite began trending on Twitter. It is the second straight year that no actor of color is nominated.
Even Chris Rock tried to make a joke out of it in another tweet, labeling the Oscars this year as ‘The White BET Awards.”
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) January 15, 2016
Unfortunately, his tweet brought some sour replies from other Twitter users, urging him to think what MLK (Martin Luther King) would do in the same situation. Another reply said the 50-year-old comedian should just give up his hosting duties instead of making jokes about it.
However, a source close to Chris Rock told a report that the comedian believes that he will make a bigger impact if he does the show.
“He thinks it is easier to make a difference from the inside. Chris has already started to write white people jokes for the show,” the source added.
“Chris [Rock] is listening to what they have to say, but thinks he will have a bigger impact by doing the show" https://t.co/AHGJkGO3NF
— New York Post (@nypost) January 19, 2016
In addition, David Boone, who was the head writer for the Oscars in 2015, believes that Rock will not boycott the show because the stage gives him a great platform to share jokes that only he can make.
Boone, who has written nine Oscar telecasts in the past, compared Chris Rock to Whoopi Goldberg when she hosted the awards.