By now, everyone has weighed in on Will Smith and Chris Rock slapping at the Oscars.
In the wake of the incident, fans have been comparing past hosts, and speculating whether or not the incident would have happened if someone else was rattling off jokes. One name that came up consistently was Ricky Gervais.
Gervais hosted the Golden Globes five times, but never the Oscars. On an episode of The View from January 2022, he revealed the reason why he would not and could not host the Oscars stating, “I might be allowed to host [the Oscars] if I did what I was told, but there’s the rub,” Gervais said when Sunny Hostin asked him about his hesitation. “The good thing about the Globes was [that] they said I could write my own jokes, say what I want, and not rehearse. And that is just too good for a comedian to turn down, whereas I don’t think the Oscars would ever allow me that freedom, and rightly so. I think they would be mad.”
He did admit if they changed their stance on this he’d say yes to the opportunity. “I’d definitely do it. I’d do it for free.”
However on Twitter, the British comedian gave a small preview of what his opening number would have looked like if he was to host the show, and it’s on par with Gervais’ brand of comedy.
“I’m proud to announce that this is the most diverse and progressive Oscars ever. Looking out I see people from all walks of life. Every demographic under the sun. Except poor people, obviously. Fuck them.”
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 27, 2022
As for his formal reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, Gervais had no words, but did post a clip from the British version of The Office in which the comedian played Dave Brent. In the clip, they talk about alopecia.
“And she’s got alopecia. So… not a happy homelife.” pic.twitter.com/b1NYWWIncX
— David Brent Music (@DavidBrentMovie) March 28, 2022
Now why is the topic of alopecia a hot topic? Well, it began with Chris Rock’s joke while he was presenting the Oscar for best documentary feature “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock said with reference to Pinkett Smith’s appearance.
Will Smith seemed to be laughing following Rock’s comment. But he then stunned the audience at the Dolby by storming the stage and slapping Rock in the face. “Wow,” said Rock afterward. “Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.”
Smith’s comments were bleeped when he returned to his seat, but it was apparent that he told Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***king mouth.”
“Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke,” replied Rock.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” Smith repeated as the audience went silent, according to people present.
Pinkett Smith’s appearance is as a result of alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that she has been public about battling, which causes hair loss by attacking hair follicles.