Chris Rock should refuse to host the Academy Awards due to lack of diversity among acting nominees, actor and recording artist Tyrese Gibson says.
The issue has sparked plenty of commentary and some controversy. Actress Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” lambasted actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s call for a boycott.
“First of all, Miss Thing, does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?” Hubert asked in a Facebook video, referring to actor Will Smith, Hubert’s co-star on the sitcom and Pinkett Smith’s husband, who was not nominated for his lead role in “Concussion.”
“I know more white people than most white people, so I don’t have a racist bone in my body,” he said during an interview with People. “We understand the presence of the LGBT community and people that really rocking for homosexual and gay rights. If they purposely left out all homosexuals and gays from being nominated for an Oscar, if the host Chris Rock was a homosexual, he would have stepped down already. This is the way you affect change.”
Gibson did congratulate his friend Leonardo DiCaprio, who is nominated for “The Revenant,” and said it’s a shame Leo’s trophy bid comes amid all the racial strife.
“Leonardo is one of my good friends. I’ve got his number in my phone,” he said. “I wouldn’t want Leo to not go get his trophy. This is not us saying we’re against the Oscars. We’re just saying, yo, this is not cool. You can’t be doing this in 2016. Stop playing in 2016. This is America.”
He did not mince words regarding Rock’s role: “There is no joke he can crack, there is no way he can seize the moment. The statement that you make is you step down.”
Here’s the clip: