Chris Rock Could Have A Starring Role In Next Year's Oscars Ceremony

Who's afraid of the Oscars stage? Certainly not Chris Rock! He may have gotten literally slapped in the face for a joke the last time he took the stage at the Academy Awards, but rumor has it that Rock may be back in an even bigger role at next year's awards. In fairness, Rock can probably breathe easily knowing that Will Smith has been banned from the event for the next ten years as punishment for The Slap, but we still think it takes some moxie to get back on stage after that. 

Smith's career has actually taken quite the nosedive after smacking Rock at the Oscars, having lost several film projects — as well as his Academy membership — as a result. Rock, on the other hand, seems to be thriving in the career department lately. In fact, he may even potentially have the opportunity to helm the 2023 Academy Awards himself. 

Chris Rock could host next year's Academy Awards

There has been no official announcement or anything, but ABC executives are apparently "open" to the possibility of Chris Rock hosting next year's Oscars, according to Deadline. ABC's president of entertainment Craig Erwich told the outlet that the 95th Academy Awards, which will air on March 12, 2023, will be "even better" than the 94th Academy Awards. While acknowledging that The Slap was the biggest event of the night, Erwich seemed to think the show as a whole was a whopping — no, slapping — success. "My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show," he said. "Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program."

It would definitely be attention-grabbing to have Rock host the show the year after he got slapped on live television, but it wouldn't be the wildest idea in the world. Rock obviously knows his way around a stage. Plus, he has experience, having already hosted the Academy Awards in 2016. For what it's worth, this was also the awards show that (potentially) started the whole Rock-Smiths feud. Poking fun at Jada Smith's #OscarsSoWhite boycott that year, Rock joked in his monologue, "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!"