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Chris Rock Says He Turned Down An Offer To Host The Oscars In 2023 After Will Smith Slapped Him

During a comedy event in Arizona on Sunday night, Chris Rock reportedly compared returning to the Oscars stage in 2023 to returning to "the site of a crime."

According to the Arizona Republic, Chris Rock, 57, has acknowledged denying a request to host the Academy Awards again in 2023. During his comedy gig at the Arizona Financial Theatre in Phoenix, AZ, the comic supposedly compared returning to the stage at the Oscars, where he was slapped by Will Smith last year, to going to the scene of a murder.

He also alluded to O.J. Simpson’s 1995 murder trial, saying it would be like asking the late Nicole Brown Simpson to return “to go back to the restaurant” where she left a pair of eyeglasses the night of her death. Chris allegedly mentioned the real slap earlier in his set that night, saying it stung and referencing how the actor played famed boxer Muhammad Ali in a film. “He’s bigger than me,” Chris stated, according to the publication. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between Will Smith and me.”

Chris’ most recent comments regarding the now-famous smack came during a recent comedy event. Since the event in March, he’s been known to discuss it at numerous of his stand-up comedy appearances. During a July event in New Jersey, he allegedly stated that he was not “a victim” and added, “Yeah, that s*** hurt, m. I shook that s off and went to work the next day… I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”

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Will broke his silence in July by posting a video on his YouTube website in which he publicly apologised for the smack. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behaviour was unacceptable,” he says in the footage while sitting and staring squarely at the camera.

“I want to apologize to Chris’s mother,” Will continued. “I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did. And that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I want to apologize to Chris’s family. Specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this probably irreparable.”

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