Chris Rock could host Oscars 2023 after ‘very unfortunate’ slap, TV exec says


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Will Smith has since apologised to Chris Rock and the academy about the slapping incident, though he is now banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years. Photo: AP

Chris Rock may be hosting the annual Academy Awards next year, as an executive for ABC admitted he would like to have Rock back as a host after the comedian was slapped by actor Will Smith.

The network’s President of Entertainment Craig Erwich stated that he considers the 2022 Oscars a “really successful year for the show” despite the controversy on Smith slapping Rock.

He also expressed openness to the idea of having Rock host the show, as per his exclusive interview with Deadline on May 17.

“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 programme,” he was quoted as saying.

“Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”

Erwich described the 2022 edition of the Oscars as the “biggest bounce back of any award show this season”.

“If you look at what they were trying to do, which is really to 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. There’s always things to learn and we’ll endeavor to do even better next year,” he added.

At the 94th Academy Awards, Rock was onstage to present the trophy for best documentary when he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, referencing the film G.I. Jane.

Smith then walked onto the stage and slapped Rock before winning the best actor award that same night.

Smith has since apologised to Rock and the academy about the incident, though he is now banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.

Oscars 2022 was hosted by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall. Meanwhile, the 2023 show will air live from the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood with nominations announced on January 24, 2023. – Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

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