The Oscars are usually pretty boring except for a few categories, and it can only help to have an entertainer like Chris Rock there. The controversy this year is making some people stay away too, maybe having a black man as a host will ease some of that tension as well.
As we see with Donald Trump running for President, a little controversy can generate excitement. Chris Rock is the type of person who is a bit outspoken. Yet the Oscars are a formal event. As a result, people will be curious to see how far Chris Rock will push the envelope.
With the "Oscars so white" hashtag going on, people may be more likely to watch due to there being a black host. There are no people of color nominated for any of the major categories, and #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsStillSoWhite have kept the conversation going in social media.There has been much discussion on social media of whether Rock should abdicate in solidarity.
Chris Rock will provide a boost to the ratings for the Oscars when he hosts this year. Although his previous performance more than ten years ago was widely panned, he will likely learn from the experience. He also has something to prove. There will also be people tuned in to see if he flops.