The Oscars may have a diversity problem yet again this year, but its awards ceremony is still being hosted by Chris Rock.
The black comedian’s first attempt at hosting the awards fell flat 11 years ago, but apparently the academy is desperate for anyone who might be able to shake up the minority viewership.
This brings us back to the complaints of the black actors and actresses, who claim Hollywood is perfectly happy to use them in their movies but is not willing to acknowledge minorities for their efforts.
Movies like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Creed,” which had excellent box office reviews with actors like Michael B. Jordan and Samuel L. Jackson delivering amazing performances, were still not nominated for Oscars.
And the issue is not just that academy members are unwilling to vote for black members; it’s much deeper than that.
Another major Hollywood problem is that movies with diverse casts aren’t getting financed or made, because the idea is that people are not interested in watching them.
Actors like Whoopi Goldberg have stated that although they would like to work in movies like the Avengers series (which features an all-white cast and is a huge hit) no such offers are forthcoming.
Producer Quincy Jones, who will come on stage as one of the presenters, has only agreed to attend the ceremony if he is allowed to make a five-minute speech to address the diversity issue.
Last year, the number of black viewers fell about 20 percent, according to AC Nielson, which should have alerted the Oscar leadership about what would happen if African-Americans failed to represent major Academy Award categories yet again.
It is ironic how minorities like African-Americans and Hispanics, who spend more money going to the movies than any other community, are the ones who are the least represented in blockbusters.