This year’s Oscar ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. And the show did have a few jokes about the previous year’s Will Smith-Chris Rock slap controversy.
However, Molly McNearney, the executive producer of this year’s show and wife of Kimmel, revealed that many jokes about the controversy were removed, and the ones considered best for the room made it to the show.
Speaking to Variety, she said, “We didn’t want to make this year all about last year. I cannot tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that we got rid of. We think that only the best for that room made it. There were certainly some that went harder, but we didn’t think that was our place to do that. That should be Chris Rock, not us.”
In the opening monologue, Kimmel said, “We know this is a special night for you. We want you to have fun. We want you to feel safe. And most importantly, we want me to feel safe. So we have strict policies in place. 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”.
It may be noted that Will Smith slapped stand-up comedian and host Chris Rock for his joke attempt on the former’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. And Will Smith won the Best Actor Award for his performance in King Richard.