It has been a week of big reveals by Chris Rock. The stand-up comedian and actor recently announced his decision to turn down the offer to host the Oscars 2023. After being on the receiving end of an unexpected slap (by Will Smith) at the Academy Awards 2022, it appears that Rock wants to steer clear of the prestigious awards in the years to come. Rock further added that he denied a Superbowl commercial after the incident, sparking online debates pertaining to the episode yet again.
During a comedy set at the Arizona Financial Theatre, Rock quipped that going back to the Oscars was akin to ‘returning to the scene of a crime’. The comedian further made a reference to the 1995 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, where he compared being asked to host the Oscars 2023 to asking the late Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where her mother had left a pair of glasses the night of her death.
The offer, as welcoming as it seems, makes one question the integrity of The Academy. The first question that arises in the minds of fans is whether the offer was an attempt by The Academy to redeem itself. While they did offer to look into the incident and ban Smith from the Oscars, was offering Rock to host the upcoming season of Oscars the right thing to do? After all, he did make fun of somebody’s lifelong and genetic infirmity. Was there no better solution to this?
Another thing to make note of is the fact that while Smith has been targeted to hate after the infamous slapping episode, Rock has received undue sympathy (and a lot more, TBH). Again, let’s not forget that he did joke about someone’s health conditions. The recent offer to host only cements the fact that Rock’s wrongs are being overlooked by the Academy. Not to forget, Rock has made fun of the incident every time he has appeared for a stand-up show, signing on more concert sales and shows owing to the incident.
Recently, Will Smith also took to social media and posted an apology video for Chris Rock. In the clip, the actor explained why he did not apologize to Rock during his speech and how the whole incident deeply affected him.
“There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment,” said Smith in the video. “There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults,” he added, further enthusing how his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, never urged him to charge at Rock. The actor also hinted at how Rock wasn’t ready to talk about the incident anymore.
(Featured Image Credits: Twitter @theacademy)