Chris Rock Smacks Down Offer to Host the Next Oscars

What a slap in the face!

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Aug 30, 2022

Let's accept the slow, crushing, inevitable death that is the fact that we will be forced to hear about this slap for the rest of our lives.

That being said, Chris Rock is perhaps trying to distance himself from the events of this year's Academy Awards (although certainly not in the form of ceasing to make jokes about it): he has confirmed rumours — initially reported by Deadline back in June — that the Academy asked him to host the next ceremony after he received that infamous slap to the face from Will Smith during the 2022 broadcast. (Which, let's face it, did finally get people talking about the Oscars again.)

As per the Arizona Republic, the comedian told the crowd at his sold-out show at Phoenix's Arizona Financial Theater last night (August 29) that he was asked to host the 2023 edition of the awards — and that he respectfully declined. He previously hosted the Oscars twice, in 2005 and 2016, but joked that returning to host next year's event would be akin to asking Nicole Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant," likening the gig to returning to a crime scene.

When the comic mentioned that a person could become famous for being victimized, someone in the crowd apparently shouted, "Talk about it," urging him on. He proceeded to admit that the slap was painful, citing Smith's portrayal of Muhammed Ali in 2001's Ali.

"He's bigger than me," Rock said of the actor. "The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith."

Rock claimed he was also offered a Super Bowl commercial, which he likewise turned down.

Smith, who has since been banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years, has publicly apologized to Rock for the incident twice.

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