Chris Rock, the US comedian, has reportedly turned down the offer to host the 2023 Oscars.
The Guardian quoted the Arizona Republic as saying that the 57-year-old made a joke out of it during a standup show on Sunday night in Phoenix, Arizona.
During the show, Rock was said to have compared returning to the Academy Awards to Nicole Brown Simpson’s death.
The comedian was reportedly making reference to the 1994-1995 trial of OJ Simpson, the former American football player whose ex-wife’s murder was recorded to have begun with her leaving her eyeglasses at an Italian restaurant.
The comedian was also said to have joked about Smith’s slap, adding that it hurts. He also reportedly made reference to how the actor had played Muhammad Ali, the late boxing icon, in a film.
“He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith,” Rock said.
In March, Smith had slapped Rock in the face on stage for making a joke about Jada Pinkett, his wife, while presenting an award at the 2022 Oscars.
While returning to his seat, Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fu**ing mouth!”
The comic had aimed a dig at Pinkett’s shaved head — which is due to the hair-loss condition alopecia.
Reacting to the incident, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) handed Smith a 10-year ban from the Oscars.
The incident also generated backlash from members of Rock’s family who publicly berated Smith.
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