The Academy can cross Chris Rock‘s name off of its list of potential hosts for the 2019 Academy Awards as the comedian recently denied any interest in the now controversial hosting gig.
According to Variety, during the New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner in Manhattan on Monday night, Rock made it known that he cannot host the A-list event, today, given the apparent sensitivity of the country.
“If it was five years ago, I could say something really offensive and funny right now, but I can’t do that anymore, so… hey!” he said at the podium.
While before the crowd, he caught eyes with Steve Martin and immediately seemed to have an “aha moment,” which he then voiced to the audience.
“Steve Martin is here!” he said. “You should host the Oscars. You’re the best. Steve Martin should host the Oscars! Because I’m not doing it, goddammit! You’re not getting me.”
His comments come just after Kevin Hart excused himself as the first choice to host the show after he refused to apologize — for a second time, in his eyes — for past homophobic comments he made during a stand-up routine.
If Rock were to host this year’s show, after all, it would mark his third time doing so. He’s emceed the event first in 2005 and again in 2016.