The first batch of presenters for the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, to be telecast live on ABC Sunday, February 28, skews young and diverse — another step in the Academy’s campaign to win back the trust of industry figures, observers, and prospective viewers who’ve criticized this year’s lily-white Oscar nominations.
READ MORE: “Academy Members React to Rule Changes to Deal with Nominations Controversy”
Women and people of color feature prominently in the list, announced by AMPAS Thursday — many of them pop music stars and comic actors, in addition to the usual former Oscar winners. It seems the Academy will try to lure in audiences via the host, presenters, and performances rather than via the nominations, which once again failed to include several the year’s most popular and critically acclaimed films (such as “Creed,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and “Straight Outta Compton”) in the major categories.
Joining host Chris Rock will be Benicio Del Toro, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Hart, Best Original Song nominees Lady Gaga and Sam Smith, Charlize Theron, Jacob Tremblay, The Weeknd, and Pharrell Williams.