Chris Rock Calls the Oscars ‘the White BET Awards’

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Chris Rock, the host of the upcoming 88th Academy Awards, shared a 15-second promo on Twitter Friday, calling the awards show “the White BET Awards.”

Alongside a video in which Rock teased three reasons why viewers should tune in to this year’s awards show, the comedian wrote, “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.”

For the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced that all 20 Oscar nominations in the four main acting categories had gone to white actors.

The tag #OscarsSoWhite began trending on social media, and many online demanded to know why black-led films like Concussion, Creed, Beasts of No Nation, and Straight Outta Compton had been snubbed.

In a statement on Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton blasted the film industry for its so-called “fraudulent image of progressive and liberal politics and policies.”

“Hollywood is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher up you get the whiter it gets and this year’s Academy Awards will be yet another Rocky Mountain Oscars,” Sharpton said. “Yet again, deserving Black actors and directors were ignored by the Academy — which reinforces the fact that there are few if any Blacks with real power in Hollywood.”

AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said that after last year’s controversial nominations the Academy had been working to become more “diverse and inclusive.”

She told Deadline on Thursday, “Of course I am disappointed, but this is not to take away the greatness [of the films nominated]. This has been a great year in film, it really has across the board.”

Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin also spoke out about the issue of diversity on Thursday, telling Deadline, “I thought there was an extraordinary amount of Oscar-worthy work by black artists and they all got overlooked.”

Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 8. He perviously hosted the 77th Oscars in 2005.


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