Chris Rock declines offer to host Oscars 2023, compares invitation to OJ Simpson crime scene

'It would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson to go back to the restaurant where she forgot her glasses before being killed,' comedian Rock said

Chris Rock declines offer to host Oscars 2023, compares invitation to OJ Simpson crime scene
Chris Rock compares his invitation to host Oscars 2023 to OJ Simpson's (inset) crime scene (Kevin Winter/Jason Bean-Pool/Getty Images)
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Chris Rock will not be returning to the Oscars stage anytime soon as the comedian has declined an offer to host the Oscars in 2023. According to Arizona Central, Rock told the audience at Phoenix comedy show held on Sunday, August 28, that he was offered to host the event but the comedian believed that returning to the Oscars would feel like returning to a crime scene. The comedian was slapped by Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards after the former cracked a balding joke on Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith

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As per the report in Arizona Central, Rock also said that he rejected a Super Bowl commercial after the famous slapgate incident. "It would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson to go back to the restaurant where she forgot her glasses before being killed", he said. The reference Rock used was related to the murder trial of OJ Simpson who was accused of killing his ex-wife after she left a pair of eyeglasses at a restaurant. Earlier during the course of his Ego Death tour, Rock referred Smith as “Suge Smith” (In relation to Death Row Record’s jailed CEO, Suge Knight) and joked that the award-winning actor is a lot bigger than he is which is why the Nevada state would never sanction a fight between the two.

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Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Emphasizing that he is not the real victim, Rock said, “If everybody claims to be the victim, nobody will hear the real victim. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith… I went to work next day, I got kids.” The comedian who hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016, added “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”

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Meanwhile, Craig Erich, President of Entertainment at ABC had said in May that Rock’s presence at the Oscars will boost the ratings dramatically. But seems like the comedian is not ready to take that step and throw himself into the spotlight in the aftermath of those stunning events. “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 had told Deadline. “It was the biggest bounce-back of any award show this season.”

The infamous slapgate incident unfolded during Oscars 2022 when Smith got up from his seat, walked up to the stage and slapped Rock in a shocking fashion. Later during the ceremony, Smith was awarded the best actor for 'King Richard' and was also banned from the Oscars for the next decade for his disorderly conduct. Since then, Smith has issued a public apology to Rock, stressing his unacceptable behavior on Instagram.

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