Comedian Chris Rock could host next year’s Oscars in a triumphant return after being slapped in the face by Best Actor Will Smith.
ABC President Craig Erwich told Deadline that he’s ready to bring Rock on as host.
He promised that next year’s show, which is scheduled for March 12, 2023, will be “even better” than the last.
Will Smith was banned from attending the ceremony for 10 years after he attacked Rock at the awards show in March for making an outrageous joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Smith, who retired from the Academy, won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.
Some praised Smith’s defense of his wife, while others insisted he should have his award stripped. He was not.
Chris Rock could lead the way at the 2023 Oscars, ABC President Craig Erwich has said
Chris Rock toured the world on his Ego Death tour, speaking about Will Smith, abortion, his dating life and Meghan Markle at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday
The station president said he regretted the violence of the night this year, but said it was otherwise a successful show.
“My assessment of the Oscars was that it really was a successful year for the show. Of course, there was a lot of controversy that overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” he told the magazine.
“Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started year after year and we came back with great success.”
Hewich glossed over the fact that the controversy sparked by the slap was one of the show’s main talking points.
“It was the biggest setback of any awards show this season,” he told Deadline. “If you look at what they were trying to do, which was to put entertainment back on the agenda, they had three fantastic hosts, clips and incredible musical performances. I thought it would be a great way for the show to reclaim its place in The Mantle.
Rock’s invitation to host the awards show could be seen as a corrective to the lack of action during the show.
Comedians and actors across the country were outraged that Smith was allowed to stay on the show, accept his award and speak about it.
In early May, months after the show, a man who had attacked David Chapelle’s comments about the trans community assaulted the comedian during his show at the Hollywood Bowl
Comedians like Howard Stern accused the Academy of allowing Smith to stay at the ceremony, saying they were sending a message that attacking a comedian on stage was acceptable.
“People are getting crazier and crazier and they’re going to take those opportunities to attack people,” he said. “Well here’s the point I want to make and how fucked up Hollywood is. Some in the audience at the Oscars should still be very ashamed. I hope they are.’
ABC President Craig Erwich said he’s open to comedian Chris Rock hosting the 2023 Oscars
Rock has steadfastly refused to talk about the incident, only hinting at it during his world tour for his currently ongoing ego death comedy tour.
“People expect me to talk about the bulls**t, I’m not going to talk about it now,” he recently told a crowd at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
At the same event, he hinted that he wouldn’t talk about it until he was “paid,” which he said would eventually happen “on Netflix.”
Smith, on the other hand, has issued a public apology and is apparently in therapy for the assault.
He resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before being banned, saying: “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, everyone present and the global audience at home.’