Chris Rock has reportedly turned down an offer to return to the Oscars award show stage. According to AZ Central, the actor revealed he declined the chance to host the 2023 Academy Awards during a comedy show in Phoenix on Sunday night (Aug. 28).
In the process, he allegedly made a joke regarding the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. He compared his return to the award show after being slapped by Will Smith to Brown Simpson’s return to the restaurant where she left her glasses.
“He’s bigger than me,” Rock joked at the sold-out show. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
During the set, Rock also shared with audiences that he turned down a slot in a Super Bowl commercial, but did not name the company that extended the offer.
According to The Guardian, earlier this month Bill Kramer, the incoming Academy CEO, said it was “committed to having a host on the show this year” after a three-year consecutive run without a designated host. Kramer also reportedly banned jokes about the polarizing slap from the 2023 ceremony.
“We want to move forward and to have an Oscars that celebrates cinema. That’s our focus right now,” he said.
Chris Rock continues his Ego Death comedy tour with remaining dates in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more.
VIBE has contacted the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for a statement regarding Rock’s comedy show claims.