Rumor mill churns, but Rock set in stone

Remarks won't remove host

Sources at the Academy on Sunday dismissed rumors that the organization may nix Chris Rock as host of the 77th Academy Awards.

The talk has centered around a series of unbuttoned interviews Rock has granted in recent weeks.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, Rock claimed he never used to watch the telecast. “Come on, it’s a fashion show,” Rock told the magazine. “No one performs; it’s not like a music show. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars?”

That remark became the subject of a prominent item on the Drudge Report, which appeared on Sunday night below the headline, “Chris Rock shock: Only gays watch Oscars.” Item cited anonymous Academy sources expressing reservations about Rock.

Acad exec administrator Ric Robertson on Sunday rejected that idea. “There hasn’t even been a peep from our membership,” he said, “and we’re really excited about him hosting.”

Rock has also told reporters that “The Aviator” is “a weird movie” and vowed to steal an Oscar for Jamie Foxx if the actor doesn’t win one of his own.

Rock’s comments appeared to be in keeping with efforts by the Academy and ABC to boost TV ratings for the Feb. 27 Oscarcast.