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Chris Rock could host Oscars after Will Smith slap

Comedian Rock was slapped over a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years.

Update:
Comedian Rock was slapped over a joke about Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years.
BRIAN SNYDERREUTERS

Broadcaster ABC are open to the idea of Chris Rock hosting the Oscars next year. The comedian was at the centre of the biggest story of this year’s awards ceremony when actor Will Smith slapped him and hurled obscenities after Rock told a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith and her struggles with hair loss, saying “Jada, I love you - GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.”

Chris Rock, although clearly stunned by what had happened, managed to maintain his composure and present the Oscar for Best Documentary. Will Smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard in King Richard, before giving a tear-filled speech, attempting to justify his behaviour. He did later apologize to Rock.

ABC open to Chris Rock hosting Oscars

Despite the controversy of the slap and Smith shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth”, the President of Entertainment at ABC, Craig Erwich, said he thought the 2022 edition of the Oscars had been “a really successful year for the show”, and admitted he was open to Chris Rock hosting the show.

If Rock were to host the 95th Annual Academy Awards he would not be faced with Will Smith, as the actor has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years over his actions at this year’s ceremony.

“My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show,” said ABC’s Erwich. “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. Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”

The 2022 Oscars had 16.6 million viewers, up 60% in audience from the covid-19 impacted event, which had no hosts.

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