Chris Rock has been widely criticized for a joke he made while hosting this year’s Oscars ceremony, at the expense of Asian-Americans.
Activists accused the comedian of perpetuating racial stereotypes when he introduced a group of accountants, who turned out to be three Asian children in suits.
Chris Rock has been generally praised for the way he dealt with the absence of black artists among Oscar nominees.
The 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony had been boycotted by some Hollywood figures.
All 20 nominees in the best acting or supporting acting categories were white.
Chris Rock had addressed the controversy during his hosting of February 28 Academy Awards ceremony, commenting that he had “counted at least 15 black people” in the montage that opened the ceremony, before welcoming people to the “white People’s Choice awards”.
The skit involving the three children was an apparent reference to Asians being good at maths. One of the children was also given a Jewish surname.
Chris Rock then said: “If anybody is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone, which was also made by these kids.”
Critics say the punch line was another stereotype, about child labor in Asia.
Chris Rock’s publicist Leslie Sloane said on February 29 that the star was unavailable for comment.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also did not comment.
Leonardo DiCaprio took home his first Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony for survival epic The Revenant, after six nominations.
The 41-year-old was named best actor at the 88th Academy Awards, with Brie Larson named best actress Oscar for Room.
Spotlight took home the best picture Oscar with Mad Max: Fury Road picking up the most awards of the night, with six accolades.
Mark Rylance won the best supporting actor Oscar, and Sam Smith won best original song.
The ceremony had been boycotted by some Hollywood figures protesting about the lack of ethnic diversity among this year’s nominees, as all 20 nominees in the best acting or supporting acting categories are white.
Host Chris Rock addressed the controversy head on as he launched the ceremony, and it was a theme that was returned to several times during the night.
Chris Rock commented he had “counted at least 15 black people” in the montage that opened the ceremony, before welcoming people to the “white People’s Choice awards”.
The Revenant won three of the 12 awards for which it was nominated. Alejandro Inarritu also won best director and Emmanuel Lubezki won his third Oscar for cinematography in a row, having won in 2015 for Birdman and 2014 for Gravity.
Leonardo DiCaprio received a standing ovation as he picked up his award, after five acting nominations and one nomination as producer of best picture nominee Wolf of Wall Street.
He thanked his director and co-star Tom Hardy for his “fierce talent on screen” and “friendship off screen” before campaigning for action to combat climate change, saying making The Revenant was “about man’s relationship to the natural world”.
He asked the audience to “support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who’ll be affected by this”.
It is 22 years since Leonardo DiCaprio was first nominated for an Academy Award, having been nominated for best supporting actor for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
Speaking to reporters after his win, Leonardo DiCaprio said: “I feel very honored, to share this has been an amazing experience, to sit there and talk about the film.
“I also got to talk about something I have been obsessed with – the environment and climate change – on a platform with hundreds of millions of people watching worldwide.”
As he accepted his award, Alejandro Inarritu said it was a “great opportunity to our generation to liberate ourselves from all prejudice”, saying the color of someone’s skin should be “as irrelevant as the length of their hair”.
It is the fourth Oscar for Alejandro Inarritu, having won best director, best original screenplay (as co-writer) and best picture (as producer) for Birdman in 2015.
Brie Larson had won praise for her role as abducted woman Ma in Room, based on the book by Emma Donoghue.
The actress thanked everyone involved in the film, including young co-star Jacob Tremblay, who plays her son.
Spotlight tells the true story of how investigative reporters at the Boston Globe uncovered child abuse by Catholic priests in Massachusetts.
Mark Rylance won his Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s Cold War film Bridge of Spies, in which he plays Rudolf Abel, the real-life Soviet intelligence officer who was arrested in 1950s New York and prosecuted as a spy.
Sam Smith, whose song was featured in Bond film SPECTRE, told the audience at LA’s Dolby Theater he could not breathe as he picked up his award and described his fellow nominees as “incredible”.
Alicia Vikander won the best supporting actress Oscar for The Danish Girl.
The Swedish-born actress thanked her co-star Eddie Redmayne and her parents, after winning her first Oscar, saying: “Eddie, thank you for being the best acting partner. I could never have done it without you. You raised my game.
“My mum and dad, thank you for giving me the belief that anything can happen – even though I would never have believed this.”
Amy Winehouse documentary Amy won the best documentary feature Oscar for British filmmakers Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees.
Composer Ennio Morricone won the Oscar for best original film score for The Hateful Eight – the first Academy Award the 87-year-old has won in his career.
Irish director Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage won the best live action short Oscar for Stutterer, about a man with a severe stammer.
The best foreign language film Oscar went to Hungarian film Son of Saul, telling the story of a Jewish man forced to work at a Nazi death camp who seeks a proper religious burial for a boy who he believes is his son.
The Revenant and Leonardo DiCaprio are widely expected to win at this year’s Oscar ceremony.
If he wins, Leonardo DiCaprio will take home his first best actor Oscar statue.
The Revenant is seen as a strong contender for best picture and best director.
The 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony gets under way at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles at 20:30 PST.
This year’s ceremony is being boycotted by some Hollywood figures who are protesting about the lack of ethnic diversity among the nominees.
All 20 nominees in the best acting or supporting acting categories are white.
Last week, Harvey Weinstein discouraged a boycott, reassuring those concerned that host Chris Rock would “annihilate” Hollywood in his opening monologue at the ceremony.
The black comedian is known for dealing with racial issues in his routines and it is expected he will make reference to the recent controversy.
Earlier this month, director Spike Lee – who was one of the first figures to speak publicly about the lack of diversity – said the boycott had been vindicated by the response from organizers.
The Academy, which hands out the Oscar honors, announced it would double the number of women and ethnic minority members by 2020 after the protests.
The Oscars take place two weeks after Leonardo DiCaprio won a BAFTA for best actor – often a good indicator of Academy Awards success.
Leonardo DiCaprio, 41, has never won a best actor Oscar before, despite three previous nominations and relentless campaigning from fans.
He is up against Eddie Redmayne, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender for the statue.
The Revenant faces tough competition in the best picture category from The Big Short and Spotlight.
The Big Short was not initially seen as the favorite to triumph, but its chances were boosted after it won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA).
The best picture winner at the PGAs has gone on win the same award at the Oscars every year for the past eight years.
Brie Larson is up for best actress alongside Saoirse Ronan, Charlotte Rampling, previous winners Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence – the latter has already picked up a Golden Globe for her performance in Joy.
Kate Winslet stands a strong chance of taking home best supporting actress after winning in the category both at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.
She is up against Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rooney Mara, Alicia Vikander and Rachel McAdams.
The nominees for best supporting actor are Christian Bale, Mark Ruffalo, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance.
The Revenant tops the 2016 Oscar nominations with 12 nods, while Mad Max: Fury Road scores 10.
Both movies are nominated for best picture, along with The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian, Room and Spotlight.
Eddie Redmayne competes against Leonardo DiCaprio for the best actor award.
Charlotte Rampling is in the running for best actress, while Kate Winslet is up for best supporting actress.
Eddie Redmayne, nominated this year for his role as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, won the 2015 Academy Award for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of survival epic The Revenant, has been nominated four times but has yet to win an Academy Award.
The best actor category also sees nominations for Michael Fassbender for biopic Steve Jobs, Matt Damon for space saga The Martian and Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, in which he portrays real-life Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Charlotte Rampling, who receives a nod for marital drama 45 Years, faces competition in the best actress category from Cate Blanchett for Carol, Brie Larson for Room, Jennifer Lawrence for Joy and Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
Other hopefuls include best supporting actor nominees Christian Bale, for The Big Short, Mark Rylance, for Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, and Tom Hardy for The Revenant.
Nick Hornby is nominated for best adapted screenplay for Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, with fellow British author Alex Garland honored for his original screenplay for Ex Machina.
Photo Getty Images
Singer Sam Smith is nominated for best original song for Writing’s On the Wall, having already won a Golden Globe for the SPECTRE track alongside writing partner Jimmy Napes. They will compete with singles including Lady Gaga’s track Til It Happens To You, from The Hunting Ground, and The Weeknd’s Earned It, from Fifty Shades Of Grey.
In the best documentary feature category, Amy Winehouse documentary Amy secures a nomination for London-born filmmaker Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees.
Movies which also scooped a handful of nominations were The Martian with seven nods, while real-life journalism drama Spotlight, Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and Cate Blanchett romance Carol have six each.
The Big Short, about the 2008 financial crisis, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are in the running for five awards.
Room, based on the novel by Irish writer Emma Donoghue about a mother and son living in confinement, picked up four nominations, including best adapted screenplay.
The film’s director Lenny Abrahamson was also nominated.
Sylvester Stallone is nominated for the best supporting actor award for his comeback performance as Rocky Balboa in Creed, having won a Golden Globe for the movie last weekend.
Mark Ruffalo completes the category, having been cited for his role in Spotlight.
Pixar’s Inside Out is in the running for best animated feature film, with competitors including Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa and the Shaun the Sheep Movie, featuring the character first seen alongside Wallace and Gromit in Aardman’s A Close Shave.
Steven Spielberg has set the record for the most best picture nominations for an individual producer with nine, having been nominated for Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies.
The 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock will be held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 28.
The 2016 Oscars ceremony will be hosted by Chris Rock, the telecast producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin have announced on October 21.
Chris Rock previously hosted the 77th annual Academy Awards in 2005, when the reception to his opening monologue and some controversial jokes was mixed.
“I’m so glad to be hosting the Oscars,” the actor and comedian said.
“It’s great to be back.”
The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016.
The 2015 ceremony, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, had the lowest Oscar ratings for six years, and were down 16% on the previous year, when Ellen DeGeneres had been at the helm.
“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” said David Hill and Reginald Hudlin.
“Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host. “
“We share David and Reggie’s excitement in welcoming Chris, whose comedic voice has really defined a generation,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
“He is certain to bring his amazing array of talents to this year’s show.”
In 2005 – the year that Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby won best picture – Chris Rock received a standing ovation before uttering a word and began by ordering the assembled A-listers to “sit your asses down”.
Chris Rock’s recent film roles include I Think I Love My Wife, Head of State, Death at a Funeral and the first three films in the blockbuster Madagascar series, as the voice of Marty.
Neil Patrick Harris has announced he will host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
Neil Patrick Harris made the announcement by posting a cheeky video on Twitter.
The 41-year-old actor wrote: “I’m in!” as he gets off the phone, before circling the words “Host the Oscars” on a bucket list.
Neil Patrick Harris has announced he will host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015
Neil Patrick Harris, known to many for Doogie Howser MD, has hosted the Tony Awards and the Emmys but he said this realized a lifelong ambition.
“To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true,” Neil Patrick Harris said in a statement released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs called Neil Patrick Harris “the consummate entertainer”.
The news caps a busy week for Neil Patrick Harris, who released his autobiography and features in the nation’s number one film, Gone Girl.