Academy Awards producer Reginald Hudlin says host Chris Rock is hard at work rewriting his material for next month’s Oscar show.

Hudlin told Entertainment Tonight at the NAACP Image Awards lunch on Saturday that Rock is eager to host the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, even as a few black celebrities have decided not to attend the show for its lack of diversity.

Hudlin said Rock had written a draft for the show, but threw it out and started anew as “things got a little provocative and exciting.”


Academy Awards co-producer Reginald Hudlin, seen here at a 2014 event, says comedian Chris Rock threw out a draft version of his Oscars hosting script and is starting again in light of the recent diversity controversy. ( Arnold Turner/The Associated Press)

He said he expects Rock to make jokes about the OscarsSoWhite hashtag, and that the film academy is ready for it. Hudlin said he’s confident Rock’s material “will deliver something that people will be talking about for weeks.”

Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences promised new changes to the composition of its membership, hoping to introduce more female and minority voices by the year 2020.

This is the second year in a row that all Academy Award acting nominees are white, which prompted #OscarsSoWhite to dominate social media and led to calls for Rock to pull out as host in protest.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee have said they won’t attend the upcoming ceremony.