Roll out the red carpet! Movie lovers are already expecting the 2023 Academy Awards to be a star-studded affair.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in May 2022 that the 95th annual Oscars would be held the following March, returning to Hollywood’s iconic Dolby Theatre. Six months later, Jimmy Kimmel was confirmed as the 2023 host.
“Being invited to host the Oscars for a third time is either a great honor or a trap. Either way, I am grateful to the Academy for asking me so quickly after everyone good said no,” the comedian teased in a November 2022 statement.
Academy CEO Bill Kramer and president Janet Yang called Kimmel “the perfect host,” while ABC exec Craig Erwich praised the Brooklyn native’s poise under pressure. “Having Jimmy Kimmel return to host the Oscars is a dream come true. As we see every night on his own show, Jimmy can handle anything with both heart and humor, and we know that he will deliver the laughs and celebratory moments that define the Oscars,” Erwich continued.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host previously emceed the event in 2017 when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly announced La La Land as the best picture winner. The actors were initially handed the wrong envelope before revealing Moonlight as the official winner. Kimmel returned to host one year later, and the 2018 ceremony was smooth sailing.
In 2022, the Oscars were led by a trio of hosts: Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes. Ahead of the big night, Kimmel joked about the unique setup.
“I got paid $15,000 to host the Oscars and there’s one of me,” he told Sykes on his show in March 2022. “You guys will probably have to split that. … You’re getting robbed.”
However, the most memorable moment from the 94th Academy Awards had little to do with the three hosts. When Chris Rock was presenting a trophy, he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head — and Will Smith stormed the stage in her defense. The King Richard star, who went on to win best actor that night, slapped Rock across the face during the broadcast.
After issuing a public apology, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum was banned from all Academy events for the next 10 years. He also resigned from the organization.
The controversy continued to be a hot topic at other awards shows throughout the year. Trevor Noah opened the 2022 Grammys with a reference to the incident, while the organizers of the 2022 Tony Awards reportedly reminded attendees that the event “has a strict no violence policy.”
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