- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Host Jimmy Kimmel had a lot to say at the 2023 Oscars about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during last year’s Academy Awards ceremony.
His jokes started during the opening monologue of Sunday’s Oscars telecast, with Kimmel alluding to the infamous moment while recognizing the Irish performers who were attending. “Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage went way up,” Kimmel quipped.
The host went on to poke fun at the fact that Smith was given the opportunity to accept his best actor Oscar for King Richard at last year’s ceremony, despite his win taking place after he slapped Rock, the 2022 presenter for best documentary feature. “We want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel said. “So we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give an 19-minute-long speech.”
Kimmel also mentioned Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Bill Kramer previously having stated that the ceremony will have a “crisis team” on hand to deal with any potentially volatile situation.
“But seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place,” Kimmel said. “If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year — nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”
He continued, “And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to come up here and get jiggy with it, it’s not going to be easy. There are a few of my friends you’re going to have to get through first.” Kimmel then joked that some of Hollywood’s biggest names — including Michael B. Jordan, Andrew Garfield and Steven Spielberg — would be ready to help out.
Later, before bringing up Riz Ahmed and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson to hand out the Oscar for best documentary feature, Kimmel reminded the audience that this was the category that Rock was onstage to present when Smith confronted him.
“Our next category is documentary feature, which, as you may recall, is where we had that little skirmish last year. Hopefully, this time it goes off without a hitch, or at least without Hitch,” said Kimmel, referring to Smith’s titular character in the 2005 rom-com Hitch. Kimmel added, “Please put your hands together, and then keep them to yourself, for Oscar winners Riz Ahmed and Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson.”
Kimmel again referenced the slap before introducing Elizabeth Olsen and Pedro Pascal to present two of the shorts categories. “This point in the show kind of makes you miss the slapping a little, right?” Kimmel joked.
After all of the awards had been presented, Kimmel thanked those working behind the scenes on the show, which included his quip, “Great work, crisis team.” As he exited the stage, viewers saw him walk by a sign backstage that read, “Number of Oscars telecast without incident,” and he flipped up a card with the numeral 1 on it.
The infamous moment at last year’s Academy Awards ceremony took place after Rock likened Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head to the hairstyle of Demi Moore’s G.I. Jane character. The following day, Will Smith apologized to Rock in an Instagram post where he wrote that, given Pinkett Smith’s ongoing battle with alopecia, the joke “was too much for me to bear, and I reacted emotionally.” Smith resigned from the Academy after the incident, for which he received a 10-year ban from the organization’s events.
Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday. Find the complete winners list here, and see the star-studded Oscars red carpet arrivals.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day