By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
1.20.16: National – (Politics): What should famed comedian, Mr. Chris Rock, do regarding this year’s Oscars’ controversy? Mr. Rock is scheduled to host the star-studded event which a handful of personalities are planning to boycotting due no black performers, two years in a row, being nominated.
But some of his celebrity peers, like Mr. Tyrese Gibson, a singer and actor who appeared in movies like ‘Baby Boy’ and ‘Furious 7’, and rapper Mr. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who’s the producer of ‘Power,’ an original series airing on Starz, are lobbying the former ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member to join the proverbial picket line.
On the other side of the contentious argument are equally famous performers who would prefer that Mr. Rock, who has already taped promos for the February 28th broadcast of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, stay the course and use the platform, which will undoubtedly attract a sizable viewing audience, to inject his personal, often controversial, opinions on the lack of diversity that plagues both the motion picture industry and the annual awards show.
“I really hope Chris Rock does NOT pull out of the Oscar hosting gig. It’s so important that he’s on the mic that nite,” tweeted Mr. Arsenio Hall, an actor, comedian and former late night talk show host.
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Mr. Ricky Gervais, the brainchild behind sitcom ‘The Office’ and the gentlemen who hosted, though not without controversy afterwards, the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, also encouraged Mr. Rock to resist the urge to boycott and, instead, leverage the power of live television.
“If I were @ChrisRock, I wouldn’t be considering boycotting The Oscars. I’d be thinking ‘this sh*t is live. I can do some serious damage,’” Mr. Gervais, an English comedian, tweeted yesterday.
Mr. Spike Lee, an honorary Oscar winner who was one of the first media-makers to announce his protest against racial discrimination by the academy, didn’t lean either way when referring to what Mr. Rock should do, only saying that whatever he chooses, he’ll have his support. Mr. Rock, an outspoken comic who on many occasions has tackled racism and politics with satire and humor, is not ignorant to the problem causing the current unrest among Hollywood’s elite.
As many media outlets have noted, Mr. Rock in 2005 hosted, for the first time, the 77th Academy Awards ceremony and within seconds of his opening monologue, spoke to the number of black performers nominated. And in 2014, Mr. Rock, who’s somewhat of a thought-leader, wrote an essay for the Hollywood Reporter about the race problem in Tinseltown.
“It’s a white industry. Just as the NBA is a black industry. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It just is,” Mr. Rock penned.
Today Mr. Rock, the protagonist in this context, finds himself amidst one of literature’s most famous plot conflicts: Man v.s Society. It appears that Mr. Rock only has two choices moving forward: boycott the Oscars in solidarity with black pride, or host the show and exert, through his monologue and comments, white guilt.
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Keep a look out in January 2016 for a NPR Music documentary starring Grammy Award-Winner Mr. Christian McBride and co-starring Mr. Christopher “Flood the Drummer” Norris.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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