Chris Rock Explains Why He Refused To Host The 2023 Oscars Following The Will Smith Slap
After taking some time off to recover from his time as the host of the 2022 Academy Awards, Chris Rock is back on the stand-up comedy circuit. The renowned comedian is recounting his side of what happened after being slapped by Will Smith in front of millions of viewers in the most amusing way he knows how: through comedy. Rock revealed that the Academy had offered him the chance to host the 2023 Oscars, which he had turned down, during a performance on Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona. Rock also made jokes about the infamous slap that was heard around the globe.
When breaking the news, the celebrity compared his hosting of the Academy Awards following the Will Smith incident to the 1994 killing of Nicole Brown Simpson. Rock made light of the idea, joking that returning to the spot where he was struck would be like Nicole Brown Simpson opting “to go back to the restaurant” where she left her glasses before being killed. The comedian continued by making fun of Will Smith’s height advantage above him and telling the audience, “He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
Smith, who was barred from the Academy Awards for ten years, finally spoke out about the incident last month in a video apology. “I was fogged out by that point,” he shared. “It’s all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Chris Rock hasn’t responded to the Oscar-winning actor’s apology, although he did make light of the slap when the footage surfaced. Rock cracked a joke at a performance in Atlanta last month, saying, “Anyone who believes words hurt has never been struck in the face.
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