The 95th Academy Awards will air live from Los Angeles Sunday evening, but a cloud looms over this year’s ceremony in light of last year’s shocking moment. After comedian and Oscar presenter, Chris Rock, made a joke about Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, the actor proceeded to walk on stage and slap the comedian across the face on live television.
Smith later won the Academy Award for Best Actor but was subsequently banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years as a result of the physical altercation. So while Smith won’t be in attendance for tonight’s awards, the question remains as to whether Rock will make an appearance himself.
It is unknown whether Rock will be in attendance for the 2023 Oscars, although the comedian did refuse an offer to host this year’s ceremony.
He spoke about the offer at one of his stand-up shows last year in Phoenix. After revealing that he was asked to host, only to eventually turn down the offer, he joked that coming back “would be like going back to the scene of a crime.”
Rock had for the most part been silent on the matter, that is until recently with the release of his new comedy special on Netflix.
Upon the release of his special on March 4, titled Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, the comedian cleared the air on the physical altercation that made news waves a year ago. Rock left no stone unturned as he commented on the stress and pressure that led up to Smith’s slap, most notably the media coverage surrounding the latter’s marital obstacles with Pinkett-Smith.
Although Smith has reportedly reached out to Rock in an attempt to bury the hatchet it’s clear that the two are still not on speaking terms. Time will tell if there is any reconciliation, though Rock breaking the silence on the matter is a step forward.