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Watch Jimmy Kimmel make surprise reference to Will Smith slap at 2023 Oscars

What did you think of the joke?

jimmykimmel oscars
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
13 March 2023
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It was the slap heard around the world - and now Will Smith's action has become the joke heard around the world, when the 2023 Oscars made it a punchline for Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue.

"If anyone commits any act of violence, you will be awarded Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech," Jimmy quipped. "But seriously, if anything unpredictable or violent happens do what you did last year; nothing. Maybe give the assailant a hug."

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel riffs on Will Smith's infamous slap at the Oscars

He also referenced the incredibly diverse year for movie-making, with Jimmy sharing how five Irish actors had been nominated this year, then quipping: "The odds of another fight on stage just went way up."

Will won the Best Actor accolade in 2022 for his role in King Richard, but the actor's night went terribly awry moments before when he assaulted Chris Rock live on stage after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

As he was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature, the comedian referred to her as GI Jane., referencing her shaved head; Jada has spoken publicly about her alopecia battle.

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Following his jibe, Will left his seat in the audience to confront Chris on stage. He then slapped Chris before telling him to "keep my wife's name out your [expletive] mouth".

It was unclear immediately if it was a skit or a serious assault, and it soon emerged it had not been planned. Police were called but Chris refused to press charges.

willsmith chrisrock slap

Following his actions, Will apologized to Chris as well as the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Science. and resigned from the organization. AMPAS banned the actor for ten years from any Academy Award events. The decision was handed down as a disciplinary action, meaning that the actor won't be eligible to attend another Oscars Awards show until 2033.

In a statement given days after the incident shocked the globe, the Academy said the Oscars had been "overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr Smith exhibit on stage".

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"During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented," they added, confirming that "the Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards."

The Academy also praised Chris for "maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances".

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