Academy Awards 2016 host Chris Rock will not join A-list celebrities who are calling for a boycott of the Oscar Awards live telecast on February 28.
Celebs such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, 44, and Spike Lee, 58, are calling for other actors to join their boycott after the Academy failed to nominate a single nonwhite actor for a major award 2 years in a row.
Jada, whose husband Will Smith was passed over for the Best Actor nomination, addressed Rock, 50, directly in a video posted to Facebook.com.
“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.”
In an earlier post, Jada wrote:
“At the Oscars...people of color are always welcomed to give out awards...even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment, J.”
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is black, released a statement via Twitter.com stating the Academy is committed to bringing diversity to the awards -- just not this year.
Rock's only public response to the growing backlash against the Oscars was to joke via Twitter.com that the Oscars were the white version of the BET Awards.
But according to gossip blog Naughty Gossip, “Chris is under extreme pressure to pull out. Many leaders in the black community think he would help progress be made if he quits his hosting job.”
Daytime talk show Diva Wendy Williams and actress Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) criticized Jada for her self-serving protest.
"Girl please, why are you always speaking for your man?" Hubert said in a video posted on Facebook.com. "It was the best performance of his career, which says this is the best performance HE has ever done, not necessarily academy worthy."
Photo: RobO/Splash News