Jimmy Kimmel hosted the Oscars for the third time Sunday at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, and wasted no time at all mocking Will Smith’s infamous slap from 2022.
Kimmel addressed last year’s slap head-on during his monologue, and immediately made his audience aware that what Smith did to Chris Rock wouldn’t be tolerated this time around. “We want you to have fun. We want you to feel safe. And most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel said. “So we have strict policies in place,” he told the crowd.
Kimmel addressed the elephant in the room, knowing that Smith’s Oscars slap was still a hot topic of conversation for fans across the globe.
“If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and be permitted to give an 18-minute long speech,” Kimmel quipped.
This was a direct reference to the lack of action on the part of The Academy after Smith publicly assaulted Rock. The Academy faced widespread scrutiny for their slow response to the situation, and for allowing Smith to not only remain on-site, but to also take the stage to accept the Best Actor win for “King Richard.” (RELATED: Netflix Rescues Chris Rock’s On-Stage Fumble With A Quick Edit)
“Seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place,” Kimmel stated.
“If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year — nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug,” he said.
“Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up,” Kimmel said.
The late-night talk show host went on to rhyme off a list of tough-characters played by actors that were seated in the live audience, citing that they would protect him “if you want to come up here and get jiggy with it.”
“We have no time for shenanigans. This is a celebration of everyone here,” Kimmel said.
Chris Rock most recently addressed being slapped by Smith in his Netflix live special, “Chris Rock : Selective Outrage.”