March 27, 2022, is a date to remember, as Will Smith surprised the film world and the entire planet by slapping Chris Rock in the face during the 94th Academy Awards.
The actor and comedian Chris Rock had just made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head. Actor and star Will Smith didn’t take kindly to this, so he stood up and slapped Chris Rock in front of tens of millions of viewers.
The next day, Will Smith apologized before expelling himself from the Academy a few days later. Away from the spotlight and with several projects suspended or even cancelled, the Bad Boys and The Williams Method actor is currently taking a back seat. For his part, Chris Rock continues to perform in the United States, and it was during a performance in Phoenix on Sunday 28 August that he declared that he had refused to host the next awards show.
Asked by his audience to comment on the March 27, 2022, slap in the face, as reported by the Arizona Republic, the comedian announced that he had declined the Academy’s invitation to serve as master of ceremonies again for the 95th Academy Awards, which will take place on March 12, 2023.
Once a comedian, always a comedian, Chris Rock explained his decision by referring to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, wife of O.J. Simpson, who was murdered on June 12, 1994, saying that it would be like asking him to “go back to the restaurant”, the last place the victim visited on the night of the murder.
He also joked about the Michael Mann film Ali, in which Will Smith played the boxer Muhammad Ali, saying that the actor was “bigger than him” and that “the state of Nevada would never allow a fight between them”.
The Academy will therefore have to find another presenter, who will have the difficult task of turning the page on the dramatic 2022 edition.