Jimmy Kimmel feels Chris Rock ‘should be proud’ of how he handled Will Smith Oscars slap

Jimmy Kimmel
Photo credit Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel is gearing up to host the Oscars for a third time and he’s still thinking about last year’s ceremony.

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Last year Will Smith came on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. Smith eventually apologized.

“It’s still shocking that that happened,” Kimmel told PEOPLE, he watched from home last year. “To see something like that happen outside of like ‘The Maury Povich Show’ is shocking. And then for it to happen on the Oscars magnifies it by about a million times… I think it’s something that everybody regrets and that we will move past. One day it will be looked at in the same way as that guy running onstage naked is looked at: a weird moment that we all talked about and we hopefully learn from.”

Kimmel told the publication he didn’t speak to Smith but he did reach out to Rock.

“I mean, to be slapped in the face and to stay that cool is something that Chris should be proud of,” he said of Rock’s reaction. “Chris’s grandchildren, I hope, will still be proud of that when he’s dead and gone.”

Kimmel hosts the Oscars on ABC Sunday, March 12, at 8pm EST.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images