Tyrese Gibson Calls for Chris Rock to Pull Out as Oscar Host Amid Diversity Issue: 'The Statement That You Make Is That You Step Down'
"If you have a problem with feeling like you're being excluded, all across the board, you don't just sit on your hands and complain," Tyrese explained
Gibson, 37, weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Oscars for the lack of diversity among nominees, saying people need to start taking a stand – and it should start with Rock.
“There is no joke that he can crack. There is no way for him to seize the moment and come into this thing and say, ‘I’m going to say this and say that I’m going to address the issue but then I’m still going to keep my gig as the host,’ ” Gibson tells PEOPLE. “The statement that you make is that you step down.”
The singer compared the issue to conversations over gay rights, claiming that if roles were reversed and members of the LGBTQ community were excluded from the Academy Award ceremony, action would have already been taken.
“If the host Chris Rock was a homosexual he would have stepped down already,” he said.
Gibson praised the likes of Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith, who have spoken out about the controversy, but said more needs to be done than simply voicing one’s opinion.
“If you have a problem with feeling like you’re being excluded, all across the board, you don’t just sit on your hands and complain,” he explained. “You fix it.”
But as important as the issue is, Gibson said he also feels bad for the actors who deserve their spot on the nominee list, and their recognition is being clouded by the controversy – namely his friend Leonardo DiCaprio.
“I feel bad on behalf of Leo that I believe this is going to be the year that he finally wins an Oscar for best actor and this is all going down,” he said.
Gibson concluded by clarifying the outrage, saying it’s not about combating the Oscars, but simply standing up for what is right.
“This is not us saying we’re against the Oscars,” he explained. “We’re just saying, ‘This is not cool.’ You can’t be doing this in 2016 and acting as if no one is going to notice.”