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Why has Chris Rock turned down hosting the 2023 Oscars?

In one of his stand-up shows, Chris Rock reveals that he turned down hosting the 2023 Oscars after Will Smith’s slap in the face earlier this year.

En uno de sus shows de stand-up, Chris Rock revela que rechazó ser anfitrión de los premios Oscar 2023 después de la bofetada de Will Smith este año.
HandoutA.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

The 94th Oscar Awards will be remembered for years to come for the moment between Will Smith and Chris Rock. After the comedian made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith, the King Richard actor came onstage and slapped Rock in the face, setting off a series of apologies, consequences for Smith, as well as numerous arguments over who was really at fault and what should be done.

Just over five months after the incident, Rock has once again addressed the issue by confirming that The Academy has sought him out to host next year’s awards.

Why has Chris Rock turned down hosting the 2023 Oscars?

Rock spoke about the Academy proposal at one of his stand-up shows in Phoenix on Sunday night. The comedian revealed that he was asked to host next year’s Oscars, but turned down the offer, joking that returning “would be like going back to the scene of a crime,” according to Arizona Republic (via LA Times).

Referring to the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, Rock told the crowd at the Arizona Financial Theater that going back to the movie awards ceremony would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson to “go back to the restaurant” where she left her glasses before she was killed.

The comedian and actor said he also turned down a post-smackdown commercial offer for the Super Bowl. Rock has been the presenter of the Oscars three times, in 2005, 2016 and 2022.

Who is going to host the Oscars 2023?

Craig Erwich, president of entertainment for ABC, where the Academy Awards are broadcast, told Deadline in May his willingness to see Rock return to the Oscars stage in 2023.

On the other hand, after three of the last four Oscar ceremonies have not had a host, Bill Kramer, executive director of the Academy, told reporters that the organization is determined to have a presenter by 2023, according to LA Times.

“We definitely want a host. A host is very important to us. We’re committed to having a host on the show this year, and we’re already looking for some key partners for that,” he noted.