94th annual academy awards show 8
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Chris Rock Said the Academy Asked Him to Host the 2022 Oscars

While performing stand-up at a show in Phoenix, Chris Rock addressed 'the slap,' revealing that he was asked to host next year's Oscars.

Chris Rock has reportedly turned down an offer to host the Oscars 2023. On Sunday (August 28), the comedian revealed during a stand-up show in Phoenix that he refused the invitation, per The Arizona Republic.

According to the publication, Rock joked at the Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix that returning to the Academy Awards stage would be like returning to the scene of a crime. He also likened his return to the murder trial O.J. Simpson which began in 1994, as Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson left her sunglasses at Brentwood Italian restaurant Mezzaluna. For Rock, being asked to host next year's awards ceremony was like asking Simpson's former wife “to go back to the restaurant.”

His refusal also comes after declining a Super Bowl commercial, which he spoke on during his Phoenix show.

During the 90-minute set on Sunday, Rock's sold-out crowd pushed for him to speak more about the incident between him and King Richard actor Will Smith. After saying that person could get famous for being a victim, an audience member shouted, “Talk about it.”

Rock went on to mention how painful Smith's slap was, also referencing his 2001 film Ali where he portrayed late heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali.

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

The comment comes five months Rock was slapped at the 94th Academy Awards in March by Best Actor winner Will Smith. In late July, Smith gave a seemingly final apology to Rock in a five-minute apology video which he posted on social media.

“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened in that moment,” Smith said. “I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect of insults.”

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