By SANDY COHEN/AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chris Rock is coming back to host the Oscars for a second time.
The show’s producers say the prolific comedian-filmmaker will be at the helm for the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin called Rock “the MVP of the entertainment industry.”
The 50-year-old entertainer posted a photo of himself with an Oscar statuette on Twitter Wednesday with the caption, “Look who’s back.”
More than 42 million viewers tuned in when Rock hosted the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, compared to 37 million for this year’s show.
Rock is the only non-white Oscar host to helm the show since that appearance 11 years ago. The film academy has visibly increased its diversity outreach efforts since it was derided earlier this year for its all-white slate of acting nominees.
Hollywood is “a white industry. Just as the NBA is a black industry,” Rock wrote in a much-discussed essay late last year. He said that even though some things are changing – “not only are black movies making money, they’re expected to make money” – there are still too few people of color on both sides of the camera.
Rock has won four Emmy Awards for his comedy series and specials. He recently directed the comedy special “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo” for HBO. In 2014, he wrote, directed and starred in the feature “Top Five,” and in 2009, he produced, wrote and starred in the documentary “Good Hair.”
Rock created and produced the TV series “Everybody Hates Chris,” which aired from 2005 to 2009. Other acting credits include the “The Longest Yard,” `’Lethal Weapon 4″ and the “Madagascar” animated movies. He also appeared on Broadway in 2011.
He was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 1990 to 1993.
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