Chris Rock: ABC ‘open to’ comedian hosting 2023 Oscars after Will Smith slap

Comedian hosted awards show in 2005 and 2016

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 17 May 2022 21:53
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'Is that Will Smith?': Chris Rock mocks actor after Dave Chappelle is attacked on stage

Chris Rock could host the 2023 Oscars one year after he was slapped by Will Smith, ABC has said.

This year’s awards ceremony was thrown into turmoil after Smith jumped on stage and slapped the comedian after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Minutes later, Smith won the award for Best Actor.

Next year’s ceremony will air on ABC with Smith not in attendance, after he was banned from attending Academy events for the next 10 years.

Speaking to Deadline, ABC president Craig Erwich said that 2022’s show had been “really successful” in spite of the slap.

“Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” he said.

“Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”

Erwich also told the publication that he was open to the idea of Rock hosting the show next year, having previously presented in 2005 and 2016. This year’s ceremony was hosted by Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall and Amy Schumer.

Rock has briefly joked about the altercation with Smith while performing on stage, but has stressed that he’ll explore it in more detail in a future Netflix special.

He did joke last week, however, that “anyone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been punched in the face”.

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