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Jimmy Kimmel makes first reference to The Slap with controversial joke at Oscars

Daisy Phillipson

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Jimmy Kimmel makes first reference to The Slap with controversial joke at Oscars

Featured Image Credit: ABC/REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Jimmy Kimmel just made the first reference to The Slap with a controversial joke at the 2023 Oscars.

And so it begins.

Everyone's been waiting to see what the 95th Academy Awards would make of the historic moment, which saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock last year after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

As one of this year's hosts, Kimmel decided to take the opportunity to be the first and made a dig while celebrating the Irish talent nominated at this year's event.

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Addressing the star-studded audience, he said: "Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which meant the odds of another fight onstage just went way up."

Kimmel then took a jibe at the Academy's reaction to the slap, as Smith was not only allowed to remain at the 2022 Oscars, but he also earned the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard.

The host continued: "If any person in this theatre commits an act of violence, you will be awarded best actor and be allowed to give a 19-minute speech."

He told audiences that, in order to get to him, they would have to go through Michael B Jordan, Michelle Yeoh, Pedro Pascal and his side-kick Guillermo.

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at last year's Oscars. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at last year's Oscars. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Unless you've been off grid for the past year, you'll know about #slapgate, which unfolded when Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, referring to her as G.I. Jane due to her shaved head.

Although Smith appeared to laugh it off, he then took to the stage and smacked the comedian before telling him to keep her name 'out of his f***ing mouth'.

Despite the shocking outburst, the night carried on as normal, with Smith later accepting an Academy Award for his role in King Richard.

"Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said," he told the audience. "I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams but love will make you do crazy things."

Before leaving the stage, he joked, "Hopefully the Academy invites me back."

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Little did Smith realise that he'd just predicted what was to come, as the Academy ended up banning him from its events for the next 10 years.

The actor has apologised numerous times since then, something that Rock roasted in his recent Netflix special Selective Outrage.

It's no surprise that the incident was brought up again tonight (13 March) – no doubt there'll be plenty more where that came from.

Topics: Film & TV, Will Smith, Chris Rock, Academy Awards, Oscars

Daisy Phillipson
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