No pressure, Chris! Don Cheadle exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, January 22, that he hopes Oscar host Chris Rock will put his very public role at the February 28 awards show to good use and “skewer the entirety of society.”
“I’ve actually been talking to Chris a little bit and I hope he just goes in, because I think this is a perfect opportunity to take everyone to task — and nobody does it better than Chris, you know what I mean?” Cheadle told Us during a chat about his new film, Miles Ahead, at the Sundance Film Festival. “He can skewer the entirety of society with this, and on a world stage. I hope it turns out to be one of the greatest moments we’ve ever seen in television history. It would be an amazing moment.”
Cheadle, 51, added that having been in the acting business for more than 30 years now, he’s not surprised by the lack of diversity in Oscar nominees — but he also noted that the awards are not the point.
“I was nonplussed,” he told Us of his reaction when he first heard the nominees’ names announced. “I mean, I made a joke because I thought the joke was funny and it turned into a whole thing. [Cheadle previously tweeted a joke about parking cars for the show attendees instead of attending himself] … There are factors that frayed on [the awards] that occur at a much earlier point that are important, and are the things that I think we need to examine in terms of bias and inclusion and all of that, diversity.”
The House of Lies actor added that as long as movie roles are diverse (“Can you compare what Idris Elba did in Beasts of No Nation to what Matt Damon did in The Martian? They’re not even in the same world”), it will be difficult to have a completely subjective voting criteria.
Cheadle’s opinion on the matter seems to fall in line with Ice Cube’s two cents on the Oscar controversy, which he shared during an interview on the Graham Norton Show Friday.
“We don’t do movies for the industry, we do movies for the fans, for the people,” the Straight Outta Compton producer said. “And, you know, the industry, if they give you a trophy or not, or they pat you on the back or not, it’s nice but it’s not something you should dwell on.”