How Jimmy Kimmel Is Preparing For Another Another Oscars Slap
Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars 2023 host, is prepared for everything, including another potential smack. Almost a year after Will Smith came onto the Oscars stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock in the face over a joke intended at Jada Pinkett Smith, Kimmel said he now has a plan in place if “somebody comes up on the stage and slaps me” as well.
“Well, I size them up, and, if I’m bigger than they are, I beat the s–t out of them on television,” he revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published March 7. If that person is Dwayne Johnson, who is scheduled to speak at this year’s ceremony, the comic jokes, “I run.”
Kimmel will be hosting the Oscars for the third time this year. During his first year as emcee, Kimmel saw a significant Academy blunder when La La Land was wrongly proclaimed Best Picture winner over Moonlight. In his Oscars opening speech the following year, Jimmy Kimmel Live! presenter Jimmy Kimmel joked to nominees in the audience, “When you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Just give us a minute. We don’t want another thing.”
So, how does Kimmel rank the mix-up compared to the slap? “Yeah, we got knocked down the list,” he quipped to THR. “It’s disappointing in a lot of ways. If you’re gonna be part of a f–kup, it might as well be the biggest f–kup ever. Being part of the second-biggest f–kup doesn’t carry as much cachet.”
Yet Kimmel isn’t the only one who is bracing for potential future disasters. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ CEO, Bill Kramer, recently announced the formation of a “crisis team” following Smith’s onstage altercation with Rock, which “opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars.”
“We’ve run many scenarios,” he explained in a February interview with Time. “So it is our hope that we will be prepared for anything that we may not anticipate right now but that we’re planning for just in case it does happen.”
In the aftermath of the slap, Smith resigned from the Academy and issued a public apology to Rock. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he said in a March 2022 statement. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”