Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs: 'Oscars host Chris Rock will not hold back on diversity jokes'

Chris Rock never had any intention of stepping down from his role as the host of the 88th Academy Awards in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite outrage, according to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

Oscars boss Cheryl Boone Isaacs expects comedian Chris Rock to crack some "brilliant" jokes about the #OscarsSoWhite furor while he hosts the ceremony next month (Feb16).

Some members of the entertainment industry have expressed outrage over the fact nominees in the top four award categories are all-white at the Academy Awards for the second year in a row.

Boone Isaacs, who is the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, tells The Hollywood Reporter executives at her organisation, which runs the Oscars, are happy to be made fun of if Rock sees it fit to drop some seething punchlines about the controversy while he emcees the ceremony.

"Well, we've always known he was gonna go there, right?" she smiles. "This is Chris. We know who he is.

"He is a brilliant, brilliant, observant comedian and performer, and he is a brilliant host. And yes, we want him to (go there with the #OscarsSoWhite upset in his jokes). Way before this (diversity issue took hold), 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."

Some members of the African-American community have called on funnyman Rock to step down from his role as presenter of the 88th Academy Awards, with several stars including Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and actor Tyrese Gibson boycotting the function altogether in protest of the lack of diversity.

But Boone Isaacs claims Rock never had any intention of abandoning his gig as host of the function.

The 88th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 28 February (16).

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