As I have mentioned before, hosting the Oscar telecast is the most thankless pinata job in TV. No matter how well you do, critics are out the next morning demanding that you be thrown out of your day comedy job and relocated to the Hollywood Home for Failures.
Many agree that the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences produces an interminable, unwatchable show. They’ve tried everything short of shock collars to keep the winners’ remarks short. The major Oscars are presented way too late for a school night (unless you live on the West Coast).
The only reason the show isn’t canceled is that America is hooked on it, reaping ABC a fortune.
The difference this time is that the host, Chris Rock, is being pilloried BEFORE the show, caught up in the controversy about the paleness of the nominees in major categories. Spike Lee has said he will boycott the ceremony. (Perhaps he will go further by threatening to DVR it and skip the dozens of commercials.)
Some black celebrities have called for Mr. Rock to step down, sending a message to the Academy. Rapper 50 Cent made his plea on Instagram: “Chris please do not do the oscars awards. You mean a lot man, don’t do it. Please.”
Prediction: Mr. Rock, who also hosted in 2005 when there were four black nominees in major categories, will not cave to the PC crowd. However, he will swear off the gig forever after the stupid Monday morning quarterbacking.
A final thought: This manufactured “crisis” would not exist if the deserving Samuel L. Jackson had been nominated for playing the lisping zillionaire villain in “Kingsmen: The Secret Service.” But we all know the Academy hates Fox more than it likes him.