Chris Rock declines offer to host Oscars after Will Smith slap and likens going back to ‘returning to a crime scene’

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The actor was slapped by Will Smith onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards

Chris Rock has revealed that he has declined an offer to host the Oscars in 2023.

The American comedian, aged 57, was slapped by Will Smith at this year’s event in March after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

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During a recent standup show in Phoenix, Arizona, Rock said the awards’ organisers had approached him to host the 95th Academy Awards.

According to the Arizona Republic, Rock said going back to the Oscars would be like asking the late Nicole Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant," in reference to the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

Chris Rock has revealed that he has declined an offer to host the Oscars in 2023 after being slapped by Will Smith during the 94th Annual Academy Awards on March 27, 2022 (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)Chris Rock has revealed that he has declined an offer to host the Oscars in 2023 after being slapped by Will Smith during the 94th Annual Academy Awards on March 27, 2022 (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Chris Rock has revealed that he has declined an offer to host the Oscars in 2023 after being slapped by Will Smith during the 94th Annual Academy Awards on March 27, 2022 (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

He also revealed that he was asked to do a Super Bowl commercial following the assault but turned it down.

Rock has not officially commented on the incident but has joked about it while appearing on stage.

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He recently made a joke about the slap with reference to Smith’s performance as boxer Muhammad Ali in the 2001 biopic Ali.

“He’s bigger than me,” Rock said. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”

Earlier this month, the comedian took to the stage in Atlanta to remind fans that he is “not a victim”.

“Everybody is trying to be a f***** victim,” he said.

"If everybody claims to be a victim, nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith ... I went to work the next day, I got kids.”

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Chris finished by saying: “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”

The slapping incident at the 94th Academy Awards took place after Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.

He referred to Jada as G.I Jane from the 1997 movie starring Demi Moore, who sported a buzzcut similar to Jada’s.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Annual Academy Awards - before ‘Slapgate’  (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Annual Academy Awards - before ‘Slapgate’  (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Annual Academy Awards - before ‘Slapgate’ (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Jada has previously spoken about her experiences with hair loss and said her struggle with alopecia is why she shaves her head.

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The comment prompted Will to walk up on stage, where he slapped the presenter, before returning to his seat.

Will Smith won Best Actor and apologised to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences but did apologise to Rock until the following day.

American comedian and actor Chris Rock. (Photo by Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)American comedian and actor Chris Rock. (Photo by Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
American comedian and actor Chris Rock. (Photo by Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images) | A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

The star made a statement on Instagram before posting an apology video on his social media accounts.

"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," Smith said.

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"So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behaviour was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk."

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith arrive for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith arrive for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith arrive for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards (Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Smith later resigned from his Academy membership and was banned from attending all events for ten years.

New Academy CEO Bill Kramer revealed that the Oscars intend to move on from the incident and do not plan to revisit it at next year’s ceremony.

"We want to move forward and to have an Oscars that celebrates cinema. That’s our focus right now, but it’s really about moving forward," said Kramer.

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