Jimmy Kimmel, the 2023 Oscars host, began the evening by presenting some unofficial members of the ceremony’s “crisis team” to avert any unexpected outbursts.
During his opening monologue at the Oscars 2023, he addressed Will Smith’s smack from the previous year.
Smith smacked comedian Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 event, which was also held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head caused by her battle with alopecia. Smith then stepped on stage and slapped the comic, who is married to Pinkett Smith.
Smith later went on to win the award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
As the Oscars 2023 got underway, Kimmel made a joke about infamous moment at last year’s ceremony.
“We want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe and – most importantly – we want me to feel safe,” he said. “So we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theatre commits an act of violence at any point in the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech.
“No, but seriously – the Academy has a crisis team in place. If anything violent or unpredictable happens, just do what you did last year – nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug. And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to come up here and get jiggy with it, it’s not gonna be easy.”
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) March 13, 2023
Kimmel then continued by highlighting some of the stars in the audience who would help serve as security.