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Chris Rock Will Not Step Down as Oscars Host, But Is ‘Writing a New Show’

Chris Rock
Chris Rock at Variety's Creative Impact Awards and '10 Directors To Watch' brunch in Palm Springs, CA, on Jan. 4, 2015. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Not so fast! Chris Rock will not be stepping down as the Oscars host amid the ongoing controversy over the nominees, the show’s producer told Entertainment Tonight on Saturday, January 23.

Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin revealed that Rock, 50, finished his original monologue script last week, but scrapped it for an entirely new script after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy began.

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“Chris is hard at work,” Hudlin said. “He and his writing staff locked themselves in a room. As things got a little provocative and exciting, he said, ‘I’m throwing out the show I wrote and writing a new show.’”

For the second year in a row, every Oscar nominee in the acting categories is white. On January 15, Rock tweeted an ad for the show with the caption, “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.” A couple days later, Jada Pinkett Smith announced her plans to boycott the award show.

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“At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments,” she wrote. Since then, a number of actors, including Will Smith, George Clooney, Idris Elba and Lupita Nyong’o, have spoken out about the lack of diversity.

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Hudlin added that he has full confidence in Rock, calling the comedian “thorough” and “brilliant.”

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

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