Chris Rock claims he turned down offer to host 2023 Oscars

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Chris Rock has claimed he was offered a hosting position at the 2023 Oscars and turned it down.

During a stand-up set in Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday, the comedian told the audience that he was asked to emcee next year's Academy Awards.

According to the Arizona Republic, Chris said asking him to return to Oscars hosting duties would be like returning to the scene of a crime. He compared the offer to asking Nicole Brown Simpson "to go back to the restaurant" where she left her glasses before she was killed in 1994.

The joke referenced the high-profile murder of former sports star O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole. The evidence presented in the subsequent murder trial included a series of phone calls about the glasses Nicole had left at a restaurant the same night she was killed. Those phone calls were the last recorded evidence of Nicole alive, the Washington Post reports.

Chris compared Nicole's story to his gig offer after hosting this year's Oscars, where Will Smith slapped him onstage for a joke Chris made comparing Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith to G.I. Jane due to her baldness as he presented an award.

In May, ABC's President of Entertainment Craig Erwich told Deadline that he was open to inviting Chris back as a host.

"Obviously there was a lot of controversy (surrounding this year's broadcast), which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program," he said. "It was the biggest bounce-back of any award show this season."

The comedian also claimed he was offered a post-slap Super Bowl commercial and turned it down.

Chris previously hosted the show in 2005 and 2016.