Jimmy Kimmel praises Chris Rock over Will Smith’s Slap

“I hope Chris’ grandchildren will still be proud of him when he’s dead and gone,” the 2023 Oscars host said.

Jimmy Kimmel takes a look back at the infamous 2022 Academy Awards ahead of this year’s Oscars.

The host of the 2023 Oscars, which will take the stage live on March 12, compared Will Smith’s violent outburst against host Chris Rock to a scene from “The Maury Povich Show.”

“It’s still shocking that this happened,” Kimmel said People magazine. “It’s shocking to see something like this outside of ‘The Maury Povich Show.’ And if it happens at the Oscars, it magnifies it about a million times.”

The late night host continued: “I think everyone will regret it and we will be moving on. One day he’ll be looked at the same way as that guy running naked on stage: a weird moment that we’ve all been talking about and hopefully learning from.”

And Kimmel particularly praises Rock’s handling of the situation the night and months after the incident.

“I mean Chris should be proud to be slapped in the face and stay cool like that,” Kimmel said. “Chris’ grandchildren, I hope, will still be proud of him when he’s dead and gone.”

Kimmel noted that he is “75 percent prepared” for the 2023 Oscars with the expectation that he will have to “react to the show as it happens” and leave room for improvisation. “I’m going to give it 110 percent,” Kimmel said.

Rock revealed in August 2022 that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had originally asked him to host the 2023 Academy Awards and had declined. The stand-up comedian says returning to the Oscars would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson to “go back to the restaurant” where she left a pair of glasses the night she was murdered.

Rock said during a stand-up set: “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. I’m not a victim. Yeah, that shit hurt me, mom. But I shook the crap out of him and went to work the next day. I’m not going to the hospital for a paper cut.”

Meanwhile, Smith was banned from the Oscars for 10 years; however, he can still be nominated. Smith also shared an apology video, calling his outburst “unacceptable.”

“At that point, I was foggy,” Smith explained. “It’s all murky. I reached out to Chris and the message I got back was “he is not ready to talk and will reach out if he is”.

Smith shared a special message to Rock, saying, “So I’m telling you, Chris, I’m sorry. My behavior was unacceptable and I am always here when you are ready to talk.

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