Chris Rock will not host the Oscars in 2023.
While performing in Phoenix on his sold-out stand-up tour, Rock shared that the Academy asked him to return to host the 2023 awards show — an offer he declined, according to Arizona Republic.
The comedian then equated such a comeback with the recall of the scene of the incident following the slap of Will Smith in 2022.
Per Rock, going back to the Oscars would be like urging Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she left her glasses the night she was killed.
In addition, Rock briefly explained the currently infamous slap, saying Smith’s height and the fact that the Oscar-winning actor used to play Muhammad Ali made it an unfair fight.
“He’s bigger than me,” Rock stated. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
Rock dodged all questions about the incident, only talking about it for a minute during his Ego Death tour.
The Aftermath of Rock-Smith Slap
During his presentation at the 2022 Oscars, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her preparedness to portray a character in G.I. Jane with her bald head.
Pinkett Smith has alopecia and has made it publicly clear that she is sensitive about her hair. In response to the joke, Smith climbed up the stage and slapped Rock, sparking backlash from home audiences and weeks of discussion on what punishment should be imposed.
Since then, Smith has given his apologies for the outburst, referring to it as “unacceptable” and publicly indicating his wish to make amends with Rock.
“I’ve reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is ‘he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out,’” Smith elaborated. “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
In retaliation for his actions, Smith has been prohibited from attending the Academy Awards for ten years.