Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel didn’t waste any time taking a jab at Will Smith at Sunday’s ceremony — a year after the actor slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 show.
Kimmel quipped about the infamous moment during his opening monologue at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
“We want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe,” Kimmel joked. “So, we have strict policies in place. 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.”
Smith slapped the presenter Rock on stage over a joke about the shaved head of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Pinkett Smith suffers from the hair-loss condition alopecia. Smith, who won best actor for “King Richard” shortly after the incident, has since been banned from the Academy Awards for a decade.
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“The Academy has a crisis team in place,” Kimmel said Sunday. “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.”
Sunday marked the third Oscars hosting gig for Kimmel and first since 2018. He famously emceed the 2017 ceremony where Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty erroneously named “La La Land” best picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”