Chris Rock is in talks to host the 2016 Academy Awards, according to multiple media reports.
Entertainment Weekly, citing unnamed sources, reports that the Top Five star may end up hosting the latest iteration of the Oscars—although no deal has been struck yet. The bid for Rock comes after his headline-making Top Five press tour, during which he spoke frankly about the Bill Cosby allegations, the upheaval in Ferguson racism in Hollywood. The Oscars could use that kind of attention: When Neil Patrick Harris hosted earlier this year, the ceremony’s ratings fell a steep 16% from the year before. It was the lowest rated Academy Awards in six years.
Rock hosted the Oscars back in 2005 and ruffled some feathers when he questioned why Jude Law was getting to make so many movies—a joke which elicited a refutation by presenter Sean Penn during the ceremony. But based on Rock’s previous interviews, there seems to be a good chance he would accept the gig again if offered. The comedian said in 2014 that he “definitely” would have taken the 2015 Oscar hosting job had it been offered to him.
The 88th annual Academy Awards will air on Feb. 28, 2016.