After a rather wild 94th Academy Awards, Craig Erwich, president of entertainment at ABC, is open to having Chris Rock host the 95th Academy Awards, after Will Smith slapped the comedian in the face on stage. The ceremony will take place on Sunday March 12, 2023. Smith’s conduct at the Oscars led the Academy to push disciplinary action against him, but Erwich thinks next year’s ceremony will be even better than last year’s, despite the incident.
“My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show. Obviously, there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program. Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off year over year, and we came back in a big way.”
Erwich also told Deadline that he was open to the idea of Rock hosting the ceremony next year. Rock had previously hosted the Oscars in 2005 and in 2016, but it would definitely be a controversial move should he accept hosting duties next year.
Erwich also said that this year’s ceremony was a huge “bounce back” for the Oscars: “It was the biggest bounce back of any award show this season. If you look at what they were trying to do, which is really bring entertainment back to the program, they had three amazing hosts, clips, and incredible musical performances, I thought it was a great way for the show to reclaim its place on the mantle. There’s always things to learn and we’ll endeavor to do even better next year.”