How Jimmy Kimmel addressed Will Smith's Oscars slap during 2023 ceremony

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals / Karwai Tang/GettyImages

Jimmy Kimmel didn't hold back when he kicked off the 2023 Oscars.

Per an unspoken tradition with Academy Awards emcees, the comedian—as the host of movie's biggest night for the third time—used his opening monologue to make a few good-spirited jokes about A-listers in the audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. On March 12, Kimmel kindly took aim at Nicole Kidman—joking that the actress "has finally been released from that abandoned AMC" in reference to her widely meme'd ad—and Seth Rogen and Steven Spielberg, who the 55-year-old called the "Joe and Hunter Biden of Hollywood."

Although Will Smith was not in the crowd due to his 10-year Oscars ban for slapping Chris Rock at last year's ceremony, Kimmel nonetheless referenced the infamous incident involving the King Richard actor in his speech.

Remarking how five Irish actors were nominated at this year's show, Kimmel quipped that it meant "the odds of another fight on stage just went way up."

He went on to note that "strict policies" have been put in place in case of another potential altercation. "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," he joked, referencing how Smith won an award following the slap. "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 going to be easy."