The 2023 Oscars will take place on March 12, and while Rock won’t be hosting, we already know whoever does will have a plethora of cringey jokes about the slap on deck.
Chris Rock isn’t going to host the Oscars next year, which is completely understandable, but upon further explanation as to why fans can’t help but roll their eyes at him because he’s (albeit, jokingly) comparing his slap to an infamous murder.
During a show in Phoenix on Sunday, Rock told the audience that he was asked to come back and host next year’s Oscars, but he declined. After getting slapped onstage in front of the Hollywood elite and millions of at-home viewers, there’s no question as to why he declined, but upon further explanation, he seems to think the slap was a lot more traumatizing than the rest of the world.
According to the Arizona Republic, the comedian told the crowd that going back to the Oscars would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she left her eyeglasses before she was killed, referencing the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in the case.
Unsurprisingly, people had a lot to say about Chris Rock’s comparison, wondering how he thinks being slapped is in the same realm as being brutally murdered. Plus, his slap came after making a joke about a woman–Jada Pinkett Smith–which he still hasn’t apologized for, which makes him bringing up the domestic violence another woman experienced that much worse.
Back in May, two months after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars, ABC’s President of Entertainment Craig Erich told Deadline that he was open to having Rock return as host next year. The choice would surely boost ratings, according to the executive.
“Obviously there was a lot of controversy [surrounding this year’s broadcast], which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” Erich stated. “It was the biggest bounce-back of any award show this season.”