Terrence Howard was reportedly approached by a number of black stars requesting that the actor turn down the opportunity to perform his Oscar-nominated song from “Hustle & Flow” during Sunday’s ceremony.
Howard is up for a best actor award for his role as DJay, a Memphis pimp who hopes to become a rapper. The song he sings in the film, “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” has been nominated for an Academy Award as well. But as previously reported, the song’s writers, Three 6 Mafia, will perform the track instead.
According to the UK’s Mirror newspaper, actress Eva Longoria said the actor was approached by several black stars, including Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Will Smith, who have asked him not to perform the song during the telecast.
“Sidney Poitier said, ‘Do not get up there and represent the African American community singing about a pimp,’” Longoria told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Taraji P. Henson, who belted the song’s chorus in the film, will join Three 6 Mafia on stage for the Oscar performance and will be allowed to keep the word “b*tches” in the chorus. A spokesman for Gil Cates, the producer of the Oscars telecast, confirmed that the term was not on the list of banned words.
Lyrics in the song that do appear on the list include the N-word, the S-word and the F-word. After being asked to perform the track, Three 6 Mafia members Jordan "Juicy J" Houston, Paul "DJ Paul" Beauregard and Cedric "Frayser Boy" Coleman, went through the lyrics line by line and substituted various words to make it FCC-friendly.