Will Smith — Oscars Producer Addresses Why Majority Of Jokes About The Actor’s Infamous Slap Were Cut: ‘We Didn’t Want To Make This Year All About Last Year’

Will Smith — Oscars Producer Addresses Why Majority Of Jokes About The Actor’s Infamous Slap Were Cut: ‘We Didn’t Want To Make This Year All About Last Year’

Despite how it may seem, this year’s Oscars producers tried their best to retire the Will Smith jokes.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Award ceremony on Sunday (Mar. 12), a year after former presenter Chris Rock, 58, was slapped by actor Will Smith for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. As previously reported, Chris Rock, real name Christopher Julius Rock, compared Jada Pinkett Smith, 51, to G.I Jane, which was seemingly offensive to the actress who battles alopecia. 

According to reports, there were numerous jokes related to Will Smith’s infamous slap planned for this year’s Academy Awards. However, during a recent interview, executive producer Molly McNearney explained why Jimmy Kimmel, real name James Christian Kimmelkept jokes about last year’s controversy to a minimum. Molly McNearney said:

“We didn’t want to make this year all about last year.” 

Molly McNearney, 45, continued:

“I cannot tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that then 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.”

She shared:

“We really liked the idea of making fun of the reaction to it last year.” 

Jimmy Kimmel

Although the incident happened a year ago, the aftermath still seems pretty fresh. She added:

“I think we’re all still in a bit of shock of how that went down and how after watching that violence everyone had to then sit through an acceptance speech.”

During his opening monologue, Jimmy Kimmel joked:

“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 theater 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.”

The 55-year-old continued:

“Seriously, The Academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony. Just do what you did last year: nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”

The comedian added that if someone in the audience took his jokes seriously, it wouldn’t be so easy to strike him for it. 

“There are a few of my friends you are going to have to get through first.” 

Although Smith, 54, made things awkward amid last year’s ceremony, he won an Oscar for “Best Actor” for the film “King Richard later that evening. His win marked his first and last Academy award for the next 10 years due to the Academy banning him from attending their events for the next decade. 

When introducing the presenters for “Best Documentary Feature” during this year’s show Kimmel referred to Smith’s 2005 romantic comedy film “Hitch” and joked:

“Hopefully it goes off this time without a hitch, or at least without Hitch. Please put your hands together and then keep them to yourself.”

Two hours into the show, Kimmel returned to the stage and asked:

“At this point in the show, it kind of makes you miss the slapping a little bit, right?”

As the show came to an end, Kimmel added one last joke about the infamous slap:

 “Great work, crisis team.” 

06/11/2019 – Jimmy Kimmel – “Toy Story 4” Los Angeles Premiere – Arrivals – El Capitan Theatre

What are your thoughts on this year’s jokes at the Oscars ceremony? Tell us below.


Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill