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While influential black figures in Hollywood like Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett-Smith won’t be attending this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, comedian JB Smoove wants Chris Rock to buck the boycotting trend and host the show as planned.

Rock, who is slated to appear on “Four Courses with JB Smoove,” has already poked at the overwhelming whiteness of this year’s Oscar contenders, and celebrities like Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent have called for Rock to step down from his hosting duties. But Smoove says leveraging his platform to further address the issue would be Rock’s most effective way to push for change.

“It would get the most attention right now, in a big way,” he said.

Smoove said the controversy would provide a chance for Rock’s quick-witted comedy chops to shine:

He can put a spin on things like I’ve never seen anybody do in my life. … He can take that issue — because he’s a true comic, a true personality, and he’s smart as hell — he can take that and make this amazing platform to do what he wants with those Oscars as a host, [and] use this platform in the right way to get his point across several times during the show, or wherever he can do it.

Smoove added that having the show without Rock would be a wasted opportunity to confront the issue of race in Hollywood.

“To give up that platform in this moment where you have all the eyes … all the attention is on this right now. If you don’t do it, what’s the next platform to use?” he asked.

Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with JB Smoove here. 

Want more HuffPost Live? Stream us anytime on Go90, Verizon’s mobile social entertainment network, and listen to our best interviews on iTunes.

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