Almost a year after Will Smith stormed onto the Academy Awards stage and hit presenter Chris Rock in the face over a joke aimed at Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimmel said he now has a plan in place if "somebody comes up on the stage and slaps me" as well.
As he explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published March 7, "Well, I size them up, and, if I'm bigger than they are, I beat the s--t out of them on television."
This upcoming Oscars will be Kimmel's third time hosting the award show. During his inaugural stint as emcee in 2017, Kimmel was witness to a major Academy snafu when La La Land was incorrectly named as the Best Picture winner over Moonlight. The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host touched on the headline-making gaffe in his Oscars opening monologue the following year, joking to nominees in the audience, "When you hear your name called, don't get up right away. Just give us a minute. We don't want another thing."
So, how does Kimmel rank the mix-up compared to the slap? "Yeah, we got knocked down the list," he quipped to THR. "It's disappointing in a lot of ways. If you're gonna be part of a f--kup, it might as well be the biggest f--kup ever. Being part of the second-biggest f--kup doesn't carry as much cachet."
But Kimmel isn't the only one who is prepared for possible future fiascos. Bill Kramer, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, recently confirmed that a "crisis team" was put together after Smith's onstage confrontation with Rock "opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars."
"We've run many scenarios," he explained in a February interview with Time. "So it is our hope that we will be prepared for anything that we may not anticipate right now but that we're planning for just in case it does happen."
In the aftermath of the slap, Smith resigned from the Academy and issued a public apology to Rock. "Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally," he said in a March 2022 statement. "I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."