Kerry Washington & Quincy Jones Will Present At The Oscars Amid Diversity Concerns

By Ariel Celeste Johnson (ariel.johnson@mstarsnews.com) | Feb 04, 2016 10:07 AM EST
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The biggest night in television is fast approaching and the media spotlight is on the Academy to prioritize diversity. Their solution seems to be tapping a few prominent people of color to present awards during the 2016 Oscars Awards. The list of diverse presenters just grew with Kerry Washington and Quincy Jones confirmed for the big night. Will these two use the stage to address the diversity issue?

In an apparent attempt to reverse the "Oscars So White" negative publicity, the Academy presenter roster has grow dramatically more diverse. Just a few weeks ago, Chris Rock was set to be the only face of color announced for the entire night. After increased pressure and commentary the Academy has created a more diverse slate of presenters. Kerry Washington and Quincy Jones are the latest additions to that list along with Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Priyanka Chopra and Byung-hun Lee.

Quincy Jones, who was the musical director for the 1971 Oscars ceremony, declared he would only agree to present if he can have the floor to speak on the diversity issue.

"They called me to go present with Pharrell and Common. 'When I'm back [in Los Angeles], I'm going to ask [them] to let me speak for five minutes on the lack of diversity. If not, I'm not going to [present],'" said Jones.

The Academy has come under major fire for lack of diversity after two consecutive years without any black, or other racial minority members, nominated for awards. This comes as a surprise for many film enthusiasts because there were several noteworthy predominately black films released this year. The Academy really felt heat of bad publicity when black Hollywood influentials like Jada Pickett Smith, Will Smith, Spike Lee and Tyrese Gibson publically announced they would boycott the awards because of the lack of diversity. These stars are working together to boycott the night in hopes of changing the Academy's practices and standards.

Tune in to the 2016 Oscars Awards show February 28 on ABC at 7pm EST.

© 2019 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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