Will Smith's Oscars Slap Likely Won't Be Ignored At The 2023 Show

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars after Rock poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith and her shaved head. "Jada, I love you. 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it," Rock said, per NBC News. In response, the Academy banned Smith from attending the Oscars for a decade. "The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year, However, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage," the Academy said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Smith responded to this by saying, "I accept and respect the Academy's decision." He also apologized to Rock, but many felt like it was too little, too late.

In the midst of all this, Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2023 Oscars — and he's well aware that he'll have to address the slap one way or another.

Jimmy Kimmel says the slap has to come up in some way

Jimmy Kimmel has his work cut out for him as he prepares to host the 2023 Oscars. How will he address Will Smith's slap? "It's got to come up in some way," Kimmel told Extra in November 2022. "You know, I don't want to really make light of it necessarily because it wasn't [light] to comedians. You know, comedians are mad about it ... It's like, it's one of those things that for a group of people that find everything funny, it's, like, not funny, you know? But of course ... when they read the wrong winner one year when I hosted the Oscars, we had to make mention of that the next year."

This will be Kimmel's third time hosting the Oscars, The New York Times reports; he did the honors in 2017 and 2018. "Being invited to host the Oscars for a third time is either a great honor or a trap," he said in a statement. "Either way, I am grateful to the academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no." While it's a funny response, he's not wrong for the joke. It's going to be a tough year to host!