Aside from calling the Oscars the “White BET Awards,” this year’s host Chris Rock has avoided discussing the award show’s diversity controversy on social media. But Friday, Rock teased a “blackout” at Sunday’s event.
“See you Sunday… #blackout #oscars,” he tweeted with a video showing a television blackout.
After the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 2016 Oscar nominees, some members of the African-American community called for Rock to step down as part of a boycott to protest the lack of minority nominees. But Oscars producer Reginald Hudlin said Rock would not abandon the hosting gig. In fact, the producers expect the comedian to poke fun at the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
“[The Academy is] excited about him doing that,” Hudlin told Entertainment Tonight. “They know that’s what we need. They know that’s what the public wants, and we deliver what the people want.”
The Academy also vowed to improve diversity among nominees by altering membership practices, recruiting new members, and establishing new governor seats to increase members of different genders and backgrounds.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced last month. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”
The 88th Academy Awards air Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.