Chris Rock Will Edit His Opening Speech After #OscarsSoWhite Controversy

Oscars host Chris Rock will still host the annual awards show but will be rewriting his opening speech after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

There’s been an uneasy divide in Hollywood over the last week, after not a single actor of colour received an Oscar nomination for the upcoming awards ceremony, igniting debate suggesting there was a severe lack of diversity in the film industry.

And while some celebs - notably Spike Lee as well as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith - have declared they’ll boycott the event in protest, its host Chris Rock will do no such thing. In fact, he’s editing his opening speech right now.

The outspoken comedian isn’t one to shy away from controversy and bluntly addressing race in his stand up, and the edits to his opening monologue will no doubt address the #OscarsSoWhite unrest.

Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin revealed that Rock will continue as host and tweak his planned speech. “As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show’,” Hudlin shares.

“Chris is that thorough. He’s that brilliant, and I have 1,000 percent confidence that he will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks,” promises the producer.

Above: Rock opening the 2005 Oscars

So if you thought Rock’s jokes were going to raise some eyebrows before this recent race debate, we should probably get ready for a whole lot more on the subject.

"You should expect [#OscarsSoWhite jokes]. And, yes, the Academy is ready for him to do that,” Hudlin confirmed. “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.”

Considering a large number of people aren’t happy about the Academy’s initial exclusion of actors of colour, it’d appear they in fact do not know what the public want, but hope to appease them with this open arms mockery of the very controversy it began.

The 88th Oscars will take place on 28 February.

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Picture credit: MARK J. TERRILL/AP/Press Association Images, John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment