Amid controversy brewing over the lack of diversity in its pool of acting nominees, the Oscars made a point to invite a multicultural mix of presenters and performers to its forthcoming ceremony.
For the 88th outing of the awards, scheduled to air Feb. 28, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that Ryan Gosling, Kerry Washington, Kevin Hart, Benicio Del Toro, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Priyanka Chopra and Byung-hun Lee will be among the presenters on stage . Past Oscar winners Charlize Theron, Whoopi Goldberg, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Jared Leto and J.K. Simmons also will be on hand to show the ropes to 9-year-old newcomer Jacob Tremblay. Plus, Quincy Jones, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, The Weeknd and Pharrell Williams will represent the music world.
Casting a wide net to include a variety of ages and ethnicities is one way for the Oscars to address the problem that the ballots for acting nominees don’t include a single person of color. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith already have pledged to boycott the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Even with the power couple’s absence, the Oscars is working to ensure that it is worth watching. At least the red carpet will double as a vibrant runway, what with the presence of Dior brand ambassador Charlize Theron and the daring personal styles of Lady Gaga, The Weeknd’s Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye and the fashion-eccentric Williams.