As every year around this time, the Academy Awards are the hot topic on everyone’s mind. Industry insiders are predicting who they think will win big and how the year’s appointed host will do.

This time around, things are a bit different. The Academy Awards are making headlines, but not for the best reasons. With everything taking place in Black America these last few years, people are fed up with the lack of representation at these major awards shows. Last year, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite became trending topic and now it’s back and for good reason. No person of color received an Academy Award nomination this year and this caused even some of the biggest names in Hollywood to stand up.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee made headlines this week when they spoke out about the lack of diversity in the voting Academy and with the nominations. To add another interesting story line to this topic, the host of the year’s Academy Awards is Chris Rock.

READ: The Academy’s President Cheryl Boone Isaacs Says She’s Disappointed by This Year’s So White Oscars!

Most of us, if not all of us, are familiar with Rock’s comedy and when it comes to talking about race, especially race in Hollywood, no one does it better than him. This is the same man who would Instagram every time he was pulled over by the police.

However, everyone isn’t too keen on Rock still hosting the awards show. Yesterday, singer and actor Tyrese, addressed the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with a post on his Instagram calling today’s leaders “lazy” because they’re too afraid of getting blackballed out of Hollywood.

#AgressiveRant This is my message to today’s LAZY LEADERS.. The ones who are so concerned about being black balled out of this town and industry that they would rather SIT on their hands and cry at home to their wives and girlfriends and not DO anything.. The ones who only pop and talk shit on social media and DO nothing.. The ones who wanna protest but ONLY protest when it’s convenient. It’s SAD SAD SAD to see that were still living in a generation of “Followers” and not enough REAL LEADERS… Every March Dr King initiated. He could of been killed, this was long before social media and CSI and DNA, and or all of this high tech stuff that we have NOW to find murderers at our disposal.. Yeah you may have 60 million followers on your little pink ass Facebook and Instagram but it doesn’t mean SHIT if you ain’t using your influence to effect change..You got money??? You turnt?? That’s cool…. Can anybody tell me HOW MUCH Dr Martin Luther King Jr was worth when he stood on that balcony and was assassinated??? Did he have a fancy car on 26″ wheels as apart of his statement to effect change??? How was it possible that a million people showed up for his I HAVE A DREAM Speech without him tweeting or putting it up on his social media?? Cause HE was a true leader.. #OscarsSoWhite..??? Mainstream Radio?? only playing white artist when THEY sing R&B Soul???? This is modern day racism.. I fear NO MAN.. I fear NO SYSTEM. I don’t seek your validation and I don’t need your approval.. But I won’t sit down and sit ON my hands and just let this ALL go down without speaking On it.. It’s really really sad to see that press and media coverage that Donald Trump is getting when he CLEARLY doesn’t represent the VOICE of America.. Is Chris Rock still gonna host the oscars after this blatant racism?? Is everyone still gonna show up?? In this town I guess it takes homosexuals to be discriminated against in Oder for someone to finally step UP and wanna do something… You have to take your hat off to the homosexual and gay community cause right now they’re as strong as black people USE to be when it comes to their rights…

A video posted by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

Tyrese posted, “This is my message to today’s LAZY LEADERS.. The ones who are so concerned about being black balled out of this town and industry that they would rather SIT on their hands and cry at home to their wives and girlfriends and not DO anything.. The ones who only pop and talk shenanigan on social media and DO nothing.. The ones who wanna protest but ONLY protest when it’s convenient. It’s SAD SAD SAD to see that were still living in a generation of “Followers” and not enough REAL LEADERS…”

He continued and spoke on the similarities between #OscarsSoWhite and today’s mainstream radio.

“#OscarsSoWhite..??? Mainstream Radio?? only playing white artist when THEY sing R&B Soul???? This is modern day racism..I fear NO MAN.. I fear NO SYSTEM. I don’t seek your validation and I don’t need your approval.. But I won’t sit down and sit ON my hands and just let this ALL go down without speaking On it..”

Then he called out Rock, saying, “Is Chris Rock still gonna host the oscars after this blatant racism?? Is everyone still gonna show up??”

Since there are no Black nominees this year, Rock is really the only Black person who needs to be there along with director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan since their film, Creed, has a Best Supporting Actor nomination. With that being said, there will most likely be a plethora of Black presenters to make up for the lack of nominations. It should also be noted long time director and producer Reginald Hudlin, known for directing House Party and Boomerang, will be producing the show this year.

When it comes down to it, Rock belongs on the Oscars stage and for several reasons. For one, he’ll get Black people to tune in, even if it’s just for the first 10 to 15 minutes to hear his opening monologue which will most likely hold no punches around race in America.

Secondly, the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards the same year Rock is hosting is like a gift. He gets to directly call out Hollywood in a way that’s both funny and makes them super uncomfortable. Rock already referred to the Academy Awards as “the White BET Awards” and we know there’s more where that came from.

And third, there’s not just a lack of diversity among nominees, but also among hosts. The last time Rock hosted the show was in 2005, and before that Whoopi Goldberg hosted four times in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002, but since Rock’s last time in 2005, and there have been no Black hosts.

The constant lack of diversity at the Academy Awards is bigger than Rock, Pinkett Smith and Lee. It’s something that continues to happen and at some point, enough becomes enough. Black representation matters.

Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and a writer who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.