Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel mocks Will Smith slap with the help of Spider-Man
Oscars 2023 host Jimmy Kimmel wasted little time in referencing the Will Smith-Chris Rock slap incident.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live presenter was back for his third time as host of the Academy Awards, on Sunday (March 12), the first ceremony since Best Actor winner Smith slapped comedian Rock on stage.
In his opening monologue, Kimmel quipped: "If anyone in this theatre 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."
Kimmel also took aim at the way the star-studded crowd rallied around Smith during last year's awards show, quipping: "The Academy has a crisis team in place and if anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year. Nothing. Just sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug."
The comedian then warned any potential stage invaders that they'd have to go through The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and "Fableman" (Steven Spielberg) in order to get to him.
The Oscars host poked fun at the box office failure of Babylon, and joked that DC's Batwoman was "the first movie cancelled by an accountant".
Avatar: The Way of Water director James Cameron's absence of the ceremony was another hot topic during Kimmel's monologue.
"James Cameron is not here tonight, by the way. You know a show is too long when even James Cameron won’t sit through it," Kimmel joked.
He also referenced the five Irish actors nominated for awards this year, saying having that group in the venue meant that "the odds of another fight onstage just went way up".
At last year's Oscars, Smith interrupted presenter Rock on stage and struck him in the face over jokes made about the King Richard star's wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith won the Best Actor Oscar later, then issued a public apology hours after the ceremony where he acknowledged his behaviour was "unacceptable and inexcusable".
Rock finally broke his silence in a Netflix live comedy special last weekend, where he accused the Smiths of "selective outrage" over his Oscars jokes.
As a result of the slap, the Academy banned Smith from the ceremony for a period of 10 years. Smith voluntarily resigned from the Academy before his punishment was handed down.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Awards from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, airing live in the US on ABC and Sky Showcase, Sky Arts, Sky News and Sky Cinema Oscars in the UK.
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