What did Jimmy Kimmel say about Will Smith at the Oscars?

Cameron Frew
Jimmy Kimmel at this year's Oscars making a joke about Will Smith

The Oscars 2023 has kicked off with Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue, where he inevitably addressed Will Smith and Slapgate – so, what did he say?

How could any of us forget? At last year’s Academy Awards, Chris Rock took to the stage and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, which Will Smith appeared to laugh at. A few moments later, he walked up to the comedian and slapped him across the face.

Later in the ceremony, Smith won his first-ever Oscar for his performance in King Richard – but that didn’t matter, as the slap dominated the news cycle for months. He’s since been banned from The Academy for 10 years.

After parachuting into the Dolby Theatre, Kimmel began his opening monologue, and he eventually addressed the controversy – here’s what he said.

What did Jimmy Kimmel say about Will Smith at the Oscars?

Kimmel said: “We want you to have fun, 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.”

“But seriously, the academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the show, sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”

Kimmel added: “And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy with it — it’s not going to be easy,” before singling out Michael B. Jordan, Andrew Garfield, and others, citing their fictional characters as his protection for the night.

Will Smith will not be attending this year’s Oscars – you can find out more here.

You can keep up-to-date with our list of this year’s Oscars winners here.