The elephant within the room. It’s been one 12 months since Will Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock on the Academy Awards, however the incident’s aftermath was very a lot current on the 2023 Oscars.
Host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the present — which was held on the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — by stating that whereas he desires the nominees to “have enjoyable [and] really feel secure,” he jokingly added, “most significantly, we wish me to really feel secure.”
Noting that there are “strict insurance policies in place” this 12 months, the late-night host, 55, continued: “If anybody on this theatre commit an act of violence at any level in the course of the present, you’ll be awarded the Oscar for Greatest Actor and permitted to provide a 19-minute lengthy speech. However critically, The Academy has a disaster group in place. If something unpredictable or violent occurs in the course of the present, sit there and do completely nothing. Possibly even give the assailant a hug.”
Referencing Smith’s track “Get Jiggy With It,” Kimmel added that if any celebs “get made at a joke and resolve you wish to get jiggy with it — it’s not going to be straightforward,” earlier than stating that actors corresponding to Michael B. Jordan, Andrew Garfield and Michelle Yeoh will defend him.
Whereas introducing Greatest Documentary Characteristic presenters Riz Ahmed and Questlove later within the present, the host famous that the class was the one Rock, 58, was on stage to current earlier than the slap in 2022. “Hopefully, this time it goes off with no hitch, or at the very least with out Hitch,” Kimmel joked, referencing Smith’s 2005 rom-com Hitch, wherein he performed the titular matchmaker.
The 54-year-old Recent Prince of Bel-Air alum, for his half, was not in attendance on the awards, because the Academy banned him from attending all Academy-related occasions for 10 years following the incident.
Host Jimmy Kimmel beforehand acknowledged in a November 2022 interview with Further that the slap would “come up in a roundabout way” in the course of the 2023 ceremony.
“You recognize, I don’t wish to actually make mild of it essentially, as a result of it wasn’t [light] to comedians,” Kimmel, 55, defined on the time. “However in fact … once they learn the improper winner one 12 months after I hosted the Oscars, we needed to make point out of that the subsequent 12 months.”
Earlier this month, Rock, 58, addressed the altercation throughout his new Netflix stand-up particular, Selective Outrage.
“I’m not a sufferer,” he acknowledged. “You’ll by no means see [me crying about it]. By no means gonna occur.”
The Grown Ups star added: “Anybody who says phrases harm has by no means been punched within the face. … I acquired smacked on the f–king Oscars by this motherf–ker. And persons are like, ‘Did it harm?’ It nonetheless hurts!”
Throughout final 12 months’s ceremony, the King Richard star approached the stage and slapped Rock throughout the face after the comic made a joke that Smith’s spouse, Jada Pinkett Smith, ought to star in a G.I. Jane sequel. The quip was not one Will took calmly, because the Purple Desk Discuss host, 51, has been candid about her hair loss on account of alopecia.
Upon returning to his seat, Will yelled on the presenter, “Maintain my spouse’s identify out your f–king mouth,” to which Rock responded, “I’m going to — OK?” The Emancipation star went on to take residence the award for Greatest Actor for his function as Serena and Venus Williams’ father, Richard Williams, within the 2021 movie King Richard.
The Wild, Wild West actor publicly apologized to Rock the next day, writing by way of social media, “Violence in all of its kinds is toxic and harmful. My conduct ultimately night time’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, however a joke about Jada’s medical situation was an excessive amount of for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
He continued: “I wish to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I used to be out of line and I used to be improper. I’m embarrassed and my actions weren’t indicative of the person I wish to be. There isn’t any place for violence in a world of affection and kindness. I might additionally wish to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the present, all of the attendees and everybody watching world wide. I wish to apologize to the Williams Household and my King Richard Household. I deeply remorse that my conduct has stained what has been an in any other case beautiful journey for all of us. I’m a piece in progress. Sincerely, Will.”
The Academy quickly launched an investigation into the incident, throughout which the Aladdin star resigned from the group in on April 1, 2022. One week later, the Academy made the choice to ban Smith from attending “any Academy occasions or packages, in individual or nearly, together with however not restricted to the Academy Awards” for 10 years.