The 95th Academy Awards ceremony kickstarted at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday. And of course, the infamous Will Smith's Oscar slap had to be mentioned. Host Jimmy Kimmel didn't hold back when it came to addressing the Oscars elephant in the room. As he had hinted before, he started the event by joking about what would happen if anyone threatened physical violence during the award show telecast.
"Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the chances of a fight just went way up," Mr Kimmel joked.
''We want you to have fun, 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. But seriously, the academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the show, sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug,'' he said further.
Watch the video here:
Here's the portion of Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue where he referenced Will Smith's slap from last year's show! 😂#Oscarspic.twitter.com/2ksrwAnRJa— Screen Off Script (@ScreenOffScript) March 13, 2023
He then called out some people who might be able to offer him protection, naming fictional characters like Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), the Mandolorian (Pedro Pascal) and Spiderman (Andrew Garfield).
''And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy with it — it's not going to be easy. You're going to have to get through the heavyweight champ, Adonis Creed, you're going to have to deal with Michelle Yeoh … you're going to have to tangle with Spider-Man, you're going to have to tangle with Fabelman, and then you're going to have to go through my right-hand man Guillermo,'' Mr Kimmel concluded his monologue.
In 2022, Will Smith shocked everyone by slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage. Mr Rock made a controversial joke about Will Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head, which she shaved following an alopecia diagnosis. Mr Smith was given a 10-year ban from attending the Academy Awards following the controversial incident.