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Emmy Awards host Cedric the Entertainer says he's committed to improving conditions for Black comedians

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After more than 30 years in show business, Cedric the Entertainer wants to do more than just make people laugh.

The five-time NAACP Image Award winner is hosting the 2021 Emmy Awards Sunday night, and he says more Blacks need to follow in his footsteps.

“The industry hasn’t changed much,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, someone just told me that I’m only the second solo African American host of the Emmys. That’s ridiculous. Out of all these years, it’s been Bryant Gumbel and me.”

At 57 years old, Cedric is revered in the comic world, and the veteran wants to use his position to make a difference.

“I noticed, with the platforms that I have, this idea of leadership — a lot of people come to me to try to get things done,” he says. “I don’t know when I became this kind of OG godfather, especially when it comes to Black comedians, but I want to evoke change.”

Cedric continues, “I want things to happen in this business. And I do have a voice, so I will use it to see if I can make a change.”

Cedric is the star and one of the executive producers of the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood. He’s determined to make sure the show reflects his view of society.

“I’m making sure the show has a voice, making sure the episodes aren’t limiting and putting us in a box,” he says. “We can talk about the subjects that we want to. I can do it with a TV show, and I can do it in life. That’s probably the greatest thing that I learned about myself in the last year.”

The 73rd Emmy Awards airs live this Sunday, September 19, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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