Jimmy Kimmel‘s hosting the Oscars again tonight, and a year out from the infamous slap … the dude has been talking a lot about it, kinda turning the moment into a punchline.
The late night funny man has been doing a ton of press in the weeks leading up to the big gig — his third such time handling MC duties for Hollywood’s biggest show — and yes … he’s been asked repeatedly about Will Smith smacking Chris Rock, and how he’ll address it.
Here’s a few quotes of JK’s from the past couple weeks or so. When asked by THR what he would do if someone tries to pull a copycat and slap him, Kimmel said … “If I’m bigger than they are, I beat the s*** out of them on television. And if it’s The Rock, I run.”
A few days ago, as preparations were underway, Kimmel made another joke about carnage … with reference to the color of this year’s walkup. He said, “People have been asking, ‘Is there going to be any trouble this year? Is there going to be any violence this year?'”
He adds, “We certainly hope not. But if there is, I think the decision to go with a champagne carpet over a red carpet shows how confident we are that no blood will be shed.”
In other words, he’s been swearing off the brutality by teasing the possibility of more, albeit in jest. On the issue of actually talking about it in his monologue, Jimmy says he’ll do it.
He’s said in interviews that he’s going to “squeeze just a couple more drops out of it” and give a take that he thinks no one has heard yet. Kimmel did note he doesn’t plan on talking about it at length but says it’s the elephant in the room and that it must be addressed.
As for the whole crisis team thing — namely, AMPAS hiring a bunch of people to “deal” with any craziness that might go on — JK says he isn’t privy to it … and knows nothing of the logistics of what they have planned or how they would implement him if things go south.
It’s interesting that Jimmy’s been making light of the slap as much as he has, and will presumably do so again come 5 PM. Ya gotta figure ABC and the Academy have signed off on it all … they’re the producers and showrunners of this thing, and they call the shots.
Rather than gloss over/move on, they’re gonna sit it in the ugliness just a tad bit longer. 🥴