Oscars 2023: Chris Rock Declined Invite to Host 2023 Oscar Show 

Chris Rock Declined Invite to Host 2023 Academy Awards

The comedian says he turned down the Academy’s invitation to host next year’s ceremony after the infamous incident involving Will Smith at the 2022 show.


According to a report from the Arizona Republic, Rock said the Academy asked him to return to host for a third time (the comedian hosted the show twice, in 2005 and 2016) after the infamous moment at the 2022 ceremony in which Will Smith slapped Rock onstage after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

The incident took place as Rock was about to present the award for best documentary feature, and less than an hour before Smith would accept the best actor prize for his performance in King Richard.

According to the Arizona Republic, the comedian’s sold-out crowd was eager to hear his take on the incident, with a fan yelling out, “Talk about it!” Rock continued, referencing Smith’s performance as boxer Muhammed Ali in the 2001 drama Ali, for which Smith earned his first Oscar nomination.

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

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences declined to comment on Rock’s remarks.

In April, the Academy’s board of governors banned Smith from returning to the Oscars or attending any other Academy events for the next 10 years, a week after Smith publicly resigned from the Academy.

Newly appointed Academy CEO Bill Kramer noted they are “committed to having host on the show this year” and “already looking at some key partners on that.” He also emphasized that the slap will not be a topic of discussion or jokes at the next ceremony. “We want to move forward and to have an Oscars that celebrates cinema. That’s our focus right now,” he said.