The 2023 Academy Awards ceremony will have plenty of fans tuning into see if any drama goes down like at last year’s event where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. With all the publicity surrounding next year’s show, Oscar officials will be sure to tap a suitable emcee to steer the ship smoothly. After Rock revealed he turned down an offer for the job, another potential host, Anthony Anderson, spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about the possibility of taking over the reins.
“It’s a gig that I would love to take,” the Blackish star said on the red carpet of the D23 Expo on Friday (September 9) in Anaheim, CA. “Whether they come to me and offer it to me, or ask me to be a part of the conversation, that is yet to be seen. But I would love to do that.”
While Anderson has yet to step into the role of Oscar emcee, he has had a bit of practice. Back in 2017, he took over hosting a live post-Oscars special for ABC, which had previously been filled for 10 years with a segment by Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel had been moved up to the host of that year’s Academy Awards.
Speculation about having Rock lead the 2023 Oscars began to simmer soon after the slap heard ’round the world unfolded on stage. Having hosted in both 2016 and 2005, Chris seemed like a natural choice, especially with the huge spotlight on him following the incident. Even ABC’s President of Entertainment Craig Erwich mentioned the idea of Chris returning for a third hosting gig back in May, per Deadline. However, during a standup routine in Phoenix at the end of August, Rock told the crowd he turned down the official offer.
Perhaps the Smith slap was still on Rock’s mind when he declined the position. It was quite a moment in Oscar’s history, as Rock was presenting an award when he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, prompting Smith to jump on stage and slap Chris during the live broadcast. Despite the unprecedented spectacle, the show had a more positive historic moment: Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer were first trio of women to host the show together.