While there is no shortage of Will Smith jokes at the 2023 Academy Awards, it appears that only the best of them have a hit.
Molly McNearney, the show’s executive producer — and wife to host Jimmy Kimmel — revealed why so many other jokes were omitted from her husband’s monologue.
“We didn’t want to make this year all about last year,” McNearney, 45, Variety said.
“I can’t tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had and then threw them away. We think only the best for that room made them.”
“There were definitely some that went harder, but we didn’t think this was our place to do it. That should be Chris Rock, not us.
Despite this, Kimmel did include several nods to the infamous “slapgate.”
“We really liked the idea of making fun of the reaction to it last year,” McNerney explained.
“I think we’re still a little bit shocked at how that happened and how, after witnessing this violence, everyone had to sit through the acceptance speech.”
During the 2022 live broadcast, Smith, 54, took to the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Keep my wife’s name out of the king’s mouth!” Then Smith yelled twice after returning to his seat.
Kimmel opened the 2023 Academy Awards with a monologue that drew sharp criticism from the actor — and he continued to throw punches at him all night.
“Five Irish actors have been nominated tonight – meaning the odds of another fight again on stage have risen exponentially,” he said.
But he didn’t stop there – he also poked fun at the fact that Smith was awarded the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar for ‘King Richard’ after The Slapper.
“So, we have strict policies that, if anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any time during the show, you get an Oscar for Best Actor and you’re allowed to make a 19-minute speech.” Kimmel joked.
“Seriously, the academy has a crunch team in place. If anything unexpected or violent happens during the ceremony, do what you did last year. Nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even hug your abuser. And if any of you get angry at my joke and decide That you want to come here and deal with it, it won’t be easy.”
He then pointed to those sitting in the audience, joking that you’d have to outrun the “Spider-Man” star and other Oscar nominees to get past him if you suddenly feel the urge to jump on stage and slap someone.
He then said that the offer would be “meaningless” and he would have “no time to fool around”.
Prior to the event, Kimmel vowed to “beat the problem” to anyone who attempted any violent funny act under his watch.
Smith has since resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after the uproar over his actions.
He was also banned from attending any academic events for the next ten years.
The Academy recently spoke out about the incident, and admitted its handling of the ordeal was “inadequate.”
Rock recently alluded to this infamous slap in his new Netflix special, “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage,” in which he accused Smith of venting his anger over his wife from May to December. An affair with singer Auguste Sina.
The private reportedly left Smith “embarrassed and hurt”.
“Everybody in the world used to call him an ab–h,” Rock said of Smith. “Everyone. Everyone. And who’s the one who hit? Me. A n-knows he can hit. That’s some bh-ass st.”
“Everyone knows. Yes! It happened. I was stunned like last year,” he said. “I was stunned at the Oscars by this mom-care!”
“But I’m no victim, baby. You’ll never see me on Oprah or Gayle.” [King], crying. “
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