Chris Rock says he turned down offer to host 2023 Oscars

Francis Akhalbey August 30, 2022
Chris Rock said he turned down offer to host the 2023 Oscars -- Left Photo Credit: Andy Witchger | Right Photo Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson

Veteran comedian and actor Chris Rock recently revealed that he turned down an offer to host next year’s Oscars. The 57-year-old’s claim comes in the wake of the infamous moment at this year’s awards ceremony where Will Smith walked up to the stage and slapped him after he made a joke about the actor’s wife’s shaved head.

Per The Arizona Republic, Rock made the revelation during a show he was hosting in Phoenix on Sunday. The Death at a Funeral actor also said he also rejected an offer to feature in a Super Bowl commercial.

The seasoned comedian likened going back to the Oscars to returning to a crime scene. He also mentioned the killing of O.J. Simpson’s wife and the former NFL player’s murder trial to explain his point, saying that going back to the Oscars was like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.” Simpson’s ex-wife left her sunglasses at an Italian restaurant before she was fatally stabbed outside her home. 

Rock, who hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016, is said to have made mention of the March slap during the early stages of the show. And though he was brief, the audience wanted him to expatiate. After he spoke about how someone could gain fame as a result of being a victim, an audience member shouted, “Talk about it.”

The comedian then said the slap hurt and made mention of how Smith portrayed Muhammad Ali in the film, per The Arizona Republic

“He’s bigger than me,” said Rock. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Oscars when he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Smith, 53, walked up on stage and slapped Rock before telling the comedian to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth.

Smith, who rendered an apology in the aftermath of the incident, has since been banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years. Smith also announced his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Last month, the King Richard actor rendered another apology to Rock. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you,” Smith said. “My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

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