‘Sit there and do nothing’: Jimmy Kimmel mocks Oscars audience’s reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

‘If anyone commits an act of violence, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor,’ host joked

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 13 March 2023 06:52 GMT
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Jimmy Kimmel appeared to call out the Academy and the audience’s response to the Will Smith slap during his Oscars 2023 opening monologue.

The host addressed the controversial moment that saw Smith hit comedian Chris Rock on stage after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

After the ceremony, the incident ended up becoming the biggest talking point, and many were wondering how it would be referenced at the 2023 event.

Find the full list of winners here, and all the live updates from the ceremony as it happened here.

At the end of his opening monologue, Kimmel said: “We want you to feel safe – and, most importantly, we want me to feel safe, so we have strict policies in place: if anyone in this theatre commits an act of violence at any point, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.”

Kimmel was alluding to the fact that, moments after he hit Rock, Smith won Best Actor for King Richard and delivered a tearful speech that resulted in a standing ovation from everyone in the audience.

The host continued: “If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremont, just do what you did last year: nothing. Sit there and do absoltuely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”

This was a reference to the fact that, during the ad break after Smith had hit Rock, actors including Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper embraced Smith.

Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 2023 Oscars (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The 2023 ceremony saw big wins for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which took home seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh.

Angela Bassett was praised for her “real” reaction to losing in the Best Supporting Actor category – something Michael B Jordan and Jonathan Majors appeared to address onstage moments later.

Meanwhile, host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the Los Angeles event with an opening monologue that saw him poke fun at Avatar director James Cameron, last year’s Will Smith slap and, in what was deemed a “low blow” by viewers, the poor box office performance of Babylon.

Elsewhere, Hugh Grant ruffled feathers before the ceremony had even started with his “rude” answers during a “painful” red carpet interview.

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