The comedian, slapped by Will Smith at this year’s ceremony, could return to his role as host in 2023 to boost ratings.
Rumors are spreading in the Hollywood microcosm. Comedian Chris Rock could be named host of the Oscars once again, after being slapped at this year’s ceremony by Best Actor winner Will Smith.
This is not the first time that the comedian hosted the Oscars: the Academy trusted him in 2005 and then in 2016, where he had already rubbed shoulders with the Smith couple. While the controversy over the low diversity of the selected was growing, several personalities of the seventh art boycotted the ceremony. Like Will Smith, excluded from any nomination that year, despite a leading role in Alone against all. Jada Pinkett Smith supports him and invites him to do the same. A godsend for Chris Rock who launches: “Jada has gone mad. Will has gone mad. Everyone has gone mad! Jada said she wasn’t coming, but Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited anyway!”
Far from regretting the choice of his host, the president of entertainment of ABC, Craig Erich, tells Deadline that he is open to the idea of once again entrusting Chris Rock with the reins of the 2023 Oscars. Craig Erich explains to the American media that he is satisfied with this year’s audience, but that entrusting the next edition to Chris Rock would further increase the number of viewers. “My assessment of the Oscars is that it was truly a successful year for the show. Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program.”. He acknowledges that this incident “was the biggest twist of any awards show this season”.
Audiences for the 2022 edition increased by 58%, with an average of 16.6 million viewers, compared to only 9.8 million in 2021. Although many Americans skipped the ceremony after the slap given by Will Smith, Craig Erich asserts that “the show started on the rise”.
During the 2022 Oscars ceremony, Chris Rock made a “joke” about the alopecia of Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith. The Hollywood actor then went on stage to slap the comedian. A few hours later, he apologized for his “inappropriate” gesture and Chris Rock did not file a complaint. the Prince of Bel Air subsequently resigned from the Academy of Oscars. The organization had nevertheless made the choice to ban him from participating in the Oscars as well as any event related to the Academy for 10 years.
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Chris Rock could present the Oscars again in 2023