Oscars Diversity: Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg & Pharrell Williams Announced as Presenters
With all the talk surrounding the lack of diversity, the implicit and explicit boycott suggestions, and the hashtags that have developed like #oscarssowhite, all surrounding the fact that people of color have no presence in many categories at this year's Oscars, it's somewhat shocking to discover who's been named as announcers. The 88th Academy Awards have introduced Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Pharrell Williams and others as presenters for this year's ceremony.
Oscars producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin officially announced the names of presenters scheduled to appear at this year's awards ceremony. The list of announcers includes comedians Hart and Goldberg, and music producer Williams. Music artist The Weekend has also been listed as a presenter and his song, "Earned It," has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Original Song) category for its use in the film 50 Shades Of Grey. Puerto Rican actor Benicio de Toro will also present at the awards.
According to EUR, Hill reportedly stated how each of the artists listed to present add "a wonderfully distinctive element to the Oscars stage." Additional presenters include comedian Tina Fey; Lady Gaga, Ryan Gosling, Charlize Theron and Jacob Tremblay.
Chris Rock is set to host the awards ceremony, and has been receiving mixed reviews from fans and colleagues that differ on whether or not Rock should go forward with hosting. Some fans believe that he should proceed with his hosting gig and use the opportunity to confront the lack of diversity issue surrounding the academy. According to E! Online, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs is expecting Rock to do just that. "Poking some fun at the industry" is how the site describes what Isaacs has in mind for Rock to do as a host.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Isaacs explained exactly how she views Rock and his role for the show.
"He is a brilliant, brilliant, observant comedian and performer, and he is a brilliant host," explained Isaacs of Rock's talent. "And yes, we want him to, obviously, because way before this, our selection of Chris was to bring some edge and some fun and some funny-intelligent funny-to the telecast. So we know he's going to do that."
The Washington Post reported how A-Listers like Will Smith and Spike Lee continue to debate the issue with D-Listers like Stacey Dash, on what stance, if any, black people should be taking against the Oscars.
In his Oscar promo, Rock gave viewers three reason why they should tune in. "Presenter cleavage" was his first reason. He also suggested that people tune in to recap who died this year in Hollywood and also pointed out the fact that he might curse.
Another good reason is the fact that Goldberg and Hart are presenting. With these three, anything can be said during the show.
Watch the Oscars on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) January 15, 2016