Chris Rock Turned Down Hosting the 2023 Oscars
After the whole slap fiasco, Chris Rock is good on hosting the Oscars again. Obviously, doing so would reawaken some pretty traumatic memories for him: Will Smith slapped Rock in the face while he was presenting an award at the Oscars earlier this year. Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair, and Will Smith got up from his seat, proceeding to hit Rock with a huge smack across the face. When he was finished, he sat back down and a brief exchange took place. Will Smith yelled at him to keep his wife’s name “out of [his] f— mouth.” Rock, visibly shaken, tried to explain that it was just a G.I. Jane joke. Will repeated himself.
The entire world was shocked at the whole situation, and some have noted that it took place during a period of unprecedented low viewership at awards shows. Either way, the slap was also unprecedented and the two now appear as if they're nowhere near on speaking terms. Will Smith released a video statement where he explained his motivations, and he's also previously delved into the issues in his personal life. Still, the Academy didn’t cut him any slack. Smith is now banned from attending Academy events for the next 10 years.
Chris Rock hasn’t seemed particularly interested in talking about what happened, explaining that going back to the Oscars now would be like Nicole Brown Simpson “going back to the restaurant,” in reference to the O.J. Simpson trial. It makes sense that he would want nothing to do with returning. The Academy seems to have dealt with the slapping incident to the best of its ability, but some things just can't be taken back. If Chris Rock still has a bad taste in his mouth, that makes complete sense.
An audience member at one of Rock’s recent shows shouted at him “Talk about it!” and Rock responded with: “He’s bigger than me, The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.” With that, it’s unclear if Rock will ever return to host the Academy Awards, which is kind of upsetting considering he’s done a good job when he’s taken the gig in the past.