Chris Rock says he declined invite to host the Oscars next year
Comedian Chris Rock said he has declined an invitation to host the next Academy Awards in the wake of his physical altercation with actor Will Smith at this year’s ceremony.
Rock made the remarks during a comedy show in Phoenix on Sunday, also telling those in attendance that he declined an appearance in a Super Bowl commercial as well, according to the Arizona Republic.
The 57-year-old comedian said returning to the Oscars after telling a joke that got him slapped by this year’s eventual Best Actor winner would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant,” the Arizona Republic reported.
“He’s bigger than me,” Rock said. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
While presenting at the Academy Awards in March, Rock made a disparaging joke about the hair of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, referencing actress Demi Moore’s appearance in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.”
Pinkett Smith, the host of Facebook’s Red Table Talk, has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss.
Smith then walked on stage and slapped Rock before returning to his front-row seat.
In response, the Academy’s Board of Governors announced they have placed Smith on a 10-year ban from attending any Academy event.
Smith issued a public apology to Rock last month.
“Chris, I apologize to you,” he said in an Instagram post, adding that he has reached out to Rock to talk out their differences. “My behavior was unacceptable. And I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”