"There was a lot of great television on in the past year and, due to the pandemic, many of us watched way more television than normal," said the The Neighborhood star of his hosting plans, in an interview with The New York Times. "We want to blend these things together — shows that you heard of but didn’t really watch, mixed with some shows that you know. Though we’re dressed up and wearing tuxedos, I don’t want that Oscars feel — that (haughty laughter) ha, ha, ha, ha." Asked if he felt that kind of elitism was turning off viewers, Cedric responded: "I was telling the writers, let’s remove the velvet rope of it all — the feeling that, when you look at these shows, this is for them. Me being on a network sitcom … streamers and cable are really what the Emmys are about, the more avant-garde things. The smart television. It started to have this feeling like people aren’t really invited in the room. We all do a job here. Some people have more serious dramatic shows that are fun and interesting to watch. And some people have veg-out, “sit down and relax” television. Let’s take the judgment out. That’s what I want to do." In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cedric the Entertainer was asked which was worse: getting called out for playing it too safe or potentially crossing a line and upsetting people? "Nowadays, it’s crossing the line, right?" he said. "It’s not bad if you’re the news for a couple of days, but you don’t want to be the guy that ruins the night or someone’s moment. At the same time, you’ve got to be yourself. As comedians, we’re up on a tightrope trying to make sure people are entertained. But, again, we’re living in a hypersensitive society. You don’t know where that line is sometimes. It moves from day to day." How does he approach material when the stakes of pissing people off are so high? "It’s almost like an English paper," he says. "You have your joke, then you look at the words and think about how you can transform them. Should I say 'yo mama' or 'a mama?' It’s about making sure the joke lands in a way that you say what you wanted to say — but you don’t necessarily direct it at anybody specifically. Or, if you do have to say something specifically, be even more specific. Make it about one person, so it’s not a general joke. You have to be careful that you’re not making general statements or a whole group of people can jump on Twitter and turn your life upside down."