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Chris Rock Just Explained Why He Turned Down An Offer To Host The Oscars–And We Get It

Chris Rock Just Explained Why He Turned Down An Offer To Host The Oscars–And We Get It
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for National Board of Review

For better or worse, comedian Chris Rock is likely the most famous Oscars host of all time after the slapping incident between him and Will Smith at this year's ceremony.

But if you're eager to see Rock host the ceremony again, don't hold your breath.

Rock says he has no interest, despite being asked to return in 2023 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

During a stand-up set in Phoenix, Arizona, Rock likened returning to the Oscars to returning to the scene of a crime, using an analogy about OJ Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson's murder that was equal parts evocative and shocking.

Rock reportedly told the crowd asking him to host the Oscars would be like asking Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant," a reference to the Mezzaluna restaurant in Los Angeles where Brown Simpson was last seen before she was murdered.

A waiter from the restaurant, Ron Goldman, was also murdered at her home that night after going there to return eyeglasses Brown Simpson's mother had left on their table during dinner earlier that evening.

Seemingly disinterested in capitalizing on the incident between him and Smith, Rock also revealed in his set he was offered a Super Bowl commercial, which he also declined.

Rock did open up a bit about the now infamous incident, in which Smith slapped Rock on live television during the Oscars after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss.

He told the crowd the slap hurt, noting Smith had played champion boxer Muhammad Ali in 2001's Ali.

Rock quipped:

“He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”

Given the nonstop media circus that ensued after the slap, it's easy to understand why Rock isn't eager to take the Oscars stage again.

But his joke about Nicole Brown Simpson did not go over well with many on social media.

Others felt the uproar over his Simpson joke spoke to a double standard given many who defended Rock in the wake of the Oscars slap defended his mocking of Pinkett Smith.

The slapping incident may have been unfortunate, but it seems to have been a boon to the Oscars and the network that airs the ceremony, ABC.

The network's President of Entertainment Craig Erwich told Deadline in May the telecast "came back in a big way" this year after years of declining viewership.