LOS ANGELES—Insisting they had no knowledge of the stand-up comic’s controversial past before hiring her, officials at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday they had removed Wanda Sykes from hosting duties at the Oscars after discovering her long history of telling gay jokes. “When we hired Ms. Sykes, we simply thought of her as a charismatic performer and were unfortunately unaware she had frequently made jokes at the expense of the lesbian community,” Academy president David Rubin said during a press conference, expressing his heartfelt apologies to anyone who had been offended and stressing that Sykes would take no part in this year’s ceremonies. “We were also dismayed to find several racially inflected jokes in her social media feed, something the Academy condemns in the strongest terms. We have terminated her effective today, and through this action we hope to begin making amends.” The Academy went on to announce an immediate suspension of co-host Amy Schumer in order to investigate allegations that she had performed jokes mocking women.
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