Legendary Musician Quincy Jones Will Step Down From Presenting At The 2016 Academy Awards If He Is Banned From Mentioning The Lack Of Diversity.
The Oscar-nominated songwriter/producer claims he was asked to present with Pharrell Williams and rapper Common at the ceremony on 28 February (16) but he plans to withdraw if he cannot address the absence of black acting nominees onstage.
He said during a TV industry question-and-answer session in Miami, Florida he would be returning to Los Angeles to speak with the awards show bosses, and he plans to say to them, "If you don't let me speak on the lack of diversity, I'm not going to do it."
He adds, "I've been involved in the Academy longer than I care to remember... I was the first black board member, the first black conductor - I hate 'first black' because that means 'only'. I want the young African-American kids to know that the door is open."
Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Snoop Dogg announced they would not be attending or watching the show in support of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, but Jones believes there are other ways to affect change.
"There are two ways to do it," he says. "You can boycott or you can fix it. It's frightening to see 90 per cent white and 80 per cent white male."
The boss of the organisation behind the awards, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has promised a review of membership to make sure the Oscars voters are more representative of society.
Ceremony host Chris Rock has also faced mounting pressures to drop out over the controversy, with singer/rapper Tyrese Gibson writing on Instagram.com, "Chris Rock do the right thing make a statement - were (sic) relying on you to DO the right thing..... There is NO JOKE YOU CAN CRACK TO EVER CHANGE THE WAY WE ALL FEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" while 50 Cent adds, "Chris please do not do the oscars awards. You mean a lot man, don't do it. Please."
The show will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 28 February (16).
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