Chris Rock won’t return to host the Oscars in 2023.
According to the Arizona Republic, the comedian said he rejected an offer to host the Academy Awards again. He mentioned the invite during a show in Phoenix on Sunday night (August 28).
Chris Rock reportedly referenced O.J. Simpson’s murder trial when explaining why he turned down the gig. He suggested it would be like going back to the scene of a crime. The comic also joked about Will Smith slapping him.
“He’s bigger than me,” Chris Rock said. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
Earlier this year, ABC executive Craig Erwich told Deadline he was open to bringing back Chris Rock to host the Oscars. The comedian hosted the 2022 Academy Awards, but the event was largely overshadowed by the infamous slap.
Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian joked about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s haircut. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science banned Will Smith for a decade due to the incident.
“The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” the Board said in a statement.
Will Smith said he accepted the ban and respected the decision.