Chris rock

Chris Rock responded to Will Smith’s on-stage slap at the Academy Awards five months later, shocking millions of people watching around the world.

According to the Arizona Republic, the comic joked with the audience during a stand-up performance in Phoenix on Sunday (Aug. 28) night and claimed that he had been asked to host the Oscars the next year. However, he declined the offer, suggesting that it would be like going to a crime scene after missing Hollywood’s biggest night.

Rock reminded the audience at the Arizona Financial Theatre that asking Nicole Brown Simpson to return to the awards ceremony would be like telling her to “go back to the restaurant” where she left her eyeglasses before being killed. This was in reference to the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

Rock added that he declined an offer for a Super Bowl commercial following the smack.

Rock’s return to the Oscars stage in 2023 has the support of ABC President of Entertainment Craig Erwich, who spoke with Deadline in May. Rock has twice served as the show’s host, most recently in 2016. That year, the #OscarsSoWhite firestorm was in full swing.

Attempts to reach the film academy for comment on Monday were unsuccessful. The organisation normally doesn’t communicate its plans with prospective hosts, so it’s not likely that it will do so for the programme slated for March 12 of the following year.

Bill Kramer, the recently appointed chief executive of the academy, stated during a roundtable discussion with a group of reporters last week that the organisation aims to put the shocking episode, which resulted in Smith’s 10-year suspension from all academy activities, in the past. 

When questioned whether the 2023 ceremony will make any mention of the tragedy, Kramer responded, “We want to go forward and have an Oscars that celebrates movies.” “That’s our current area of interest. It really is all about progress.

Kramer did mention that the organisation is committed to have a host for this year’s programme, even though three of the previous four Oscars ceremonies had no host.

We must need a host, he added. “To us, a host is really important. This year, we are committed to having a host, and we are already looking at some important partners for that. (Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall served as the three co-hosts for the ceremony in March.)2

The most recent stop on Rock’s continuing stand-up tour, which saw ticket prices rise as a result of his incident with Smith, was in Phoenix. Rock has largely avoided discussing the Oscars-night drama while on tour, but on Sunday he made a joke about how painful Smith’s slap was and how outmatched he was physically. Smith has subsequently apologised numerous times.

Rock declared, “He’s bigger than me.” “A fight between Will Smith and I would not be approved by the state of Nevada.” LA Times/Tribune News Service

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