Chris Rock Says He Was Asked to Host 2023 Oscars After Will Smith Slap

According to a report, Chris Rock, who was slapped by Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars, told attendees of his comedy show in Phoenix that he was asked to host next year's Academy Awards but said no.

By Elyse Dupre Aug 30, 2022 3:17 PMTags
Watch: Chris Rock DECLINED to Host Oscars 2023 After Will Smith Slap

Chris Rock has no plans to host the Oscars again after getting slapped by Will Smith.

During his Aug. 28 show in Phoenix, the comedian said that he was asked to host the 2023 ceremony but that he declined the offer, according to local outlet The Arizona Republic

Per the newspaper, Chris compared going back to the Academy Awards after the slap incident to returning to the scene of a crime. He reportedly referenced the O.J. Simpson trial and compared being asked to host the Oscars to asking Nicole Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant" where her mother left a pair of glasses the night of Nicole's death.

However, this wasn't the only gig Chris—who previously hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016—said he was offered. According to The Arizona Republic, he also told attendees of his Ego Death World Tour that he was asked to do a Super Bowl commercial. While he didn't reveal which brand reached out to him, he reportedly added that he turned down this opportunity as well.

Celebrities React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Will slapped Chris onstage at the Oscars in March after the comic made a joke about the actor's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head while presenting an award (the actress has publicly spoken about her alopecia diagnosis before). 

According to The Arizona Republic, Chris said the slap hurt and made a reference to Will's portrayal of Muhammad Ali in the 2001 movie Ali.

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

Chris Pizzello/AP/Shutterstock

Aside from briefly mentioning the slap in his stand-up shows, Chris has said little publicly about the hit, which happened live during the Oscars telecast. As for Will, he apologized to the Academy and to his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech after picking up the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in King Richard. He then apologized to Chris the next day in an Instagram post. 

In a July Instagram video in which Will addressed fans' questions about the incident, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum noted he didn't apologize to Chris in his speech because he was "fogged out by that point." However, he reiterated he was sorry for what he did.

"I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out," Will, who has resigned from the Academy and has been banned from its events for the next 10 years, said. "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable. And I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

Will also noted "there is no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults," adding that his wife "had nothing to do" with his decision to confront Chris onstage.

"I promise you," he told his fans, "I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world."

As for Jada, she expressed in a June episode of Red Table Talk that she hopes Will and Chris can work things out.

"My deepest hope is that these two intelligent capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile," she said. "With the state of the world today, we need them both—and we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that's keep figuring out this thing called life together."

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App