The Oscars ceremony has always had its fair share of controversial moments, but last year’s was the most dramatic in recent times. Actor Will Smith slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock onstage for making a joke about his wife, and later went on to win the Best Actor Award. Smith has been banned from the Academy for 10 years.
When Jimmy Kimmel opened the 95th Academy Awards ceremony on Monday, there was no way he was going to let the incident pass. He roasted Smith’s slap and said: “If anyone in this theatre commits an act of violence, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech.” He further said in his monologue: “We want you to feel safe. And most importantly, we want me to feel safe.”
The Academy has learnt it the hard way—this year there is a crisis team in place to handle similar circumstances. “If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year: nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.
“And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to come up here and ‘get jiggy with it,’ it’s not gonna be easy,” Kimmel said, referring to Smith’s 1997 hit Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.
"If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for best actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech."#Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel addresses "the slap" in his opening monologue. https://t.co/J1mqrghZrf pic.twitter.com/E5dHUKLAPA— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2023