Comedian Chris Rock may be hosting next year’s Oscars in a triumphant return after he was smacked in the face by Best Winning Actor Will Smith.
ABC president Craig Erwich told Deadline that he was open to bring Rock in as the emcee.
He promised that the next year’s show, slated for March 12, 2023, will be ‘even better’ than the last one.
Will Smith has been banned from attending the ceremony for 10 years after he assaulted Rock at the March award show for making a bald joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Smith, who resigned from the Academy, went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
Some lauded Smith’s defense of his wife, while others insisted he should be stripped of his award. He was not.
Chris Rock could be fronting the 2023 Oscars, ABC president Craig Erwich said
Chris Rock has been touring the world on his Ego Death tour and on Thursday at Royal Albert Hall in London he discussed Will Smith, abortion, his dating life, and Meghan Markle
The network president said that regretted the violence of the evening this year, but he said that otherwise it was a successful show.
‘My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really 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 told the trade publication.
‘Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.’
Erwich glossed over the fact that the controversy stirred up by the slap was one of the main talking points of the show.
‘It was the biggest bounce back of any award show this season,’ he told Deadline. ‘If you look at what they were trying to do, which is really bring entertainment back to the program, they had three amazing hosts, clips, and incredible musical performances, I thought it was a great way for the show to reclaim its place on the mantle.
Inviting Rock to the host the award ceremony could be seen as a corrective for the lack of action during the show.
Comedians and actors across the country were outraged that Smith was allowed to remain at the show, receive his award and give a speech about it.
In early May, months after the show, a man who took offense to David Chapelle’s comments about the trans community attacked the comedian during his show at the Hollywood Bowl
Comedians like Howard Stern blamed the Academy for allowing Smith to remained at the ceremony, saying it sent a message that it was acceptable to attack a comedians on stage.
‘People are getting nuttier and nuttier and they’re going to use these opportunities to attack people,’ he said. ‘Now here’s the point I want to make about this and how fucked up Hollywood is. Some people in the audience at the Academy Awards still should be very ashamed of themselves. I hope they are.’
ABC president Craig Erwich said that he was open to comedian Chris Rock hosting the 2023 Oscars
Rock has steadfast refused to speak about the incident, only making passing references to it during his world tour for his Ego Death comedy tour going on currently.
‘People expect me to talk about the bulls**t, I’m not going to talk about it right now,’ he told a recent crowd at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
At the same event, he hinted that he wouldn’t discuss it until he ‘got paid’ which he hinted would happen ‘on Netflix’ eventually.
Smith, on the other hand, has issued a public apology and is apparently going to therapy because of the assault.
He resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before he was banned, saying ‘The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance and global audiences at home.’