Comedian Rock has twice before hosted the event, in 2005 and 2016.
Deadline first reported the offer from the Academy, and Rock’s refusal thereof, in June. He has now confirmed the denial at the Arizona Republic, where he joked that hosting the Oscars next year would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”
The Academy did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.
“[Will Smith]’s bigger than me,” Rock went on. “The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith.”
During a show at New York City’s Madison Square Gardens in June, Rock also referenced the incident. 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.”
Will Smith was handed a ten year ban from the Oscars over the incident. He has since publicly apologised to Rock for his actions.