The Academy did not respond to a request for comment.
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Deadline first reported the offer, and Rock’s refusal thereof, in June. The comedian has hosted the event twice, in 2005 and 2016.
Rock made the public statement at Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix last night. He also said he had been offered a Super Bowl commercial, but declined that as well.
According to the Arizona Republic, Rock joked that hosting the Oscars next year would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”
“He’s bigger than me,” Rock said of Smith. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
Rock said at a Madison Square Garden show in June that he shook Smith’s blow off nearly as soon as it happened.
He said, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that sh*t hurt, motherf*cker. But I shook that sh*t off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”
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