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Hollywood Readies for Oscars in Wake of Diversity Controversy

  • VOA News

Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Host Chris Rock speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Crews rushed to finish preparations for the 88th Academy Awards, the movie industry's highest honors, in Hollywood Sunday.

This year's show, hosted by comedian Chris Rock, has been rocked by a controversy regarding the diversity of its nominees.

For the second year in a row, only white actors and actresses were chosen for the top four categories -- best actor/actress and best supporting actor/actress.

The resulting backlash led to several African-American actors and actresses, such as Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith, saying they will boycott the event and the rise of the social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Earlier this week, Rock tweeted a cryptic "#blackout #oscars" hashtag, leading many to wonder what the acerbic comic would say during his opening monologue.

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is held in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Stars begin arriving as early as 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT), with the ceremony beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST. The roughly three-hour show will air on ABC.

More than 40 million people worldwide are expected to watch the ceremony.

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