Will Smith’s infamous slap of Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars has led to the awards show sponsor building a crisis team for anything “unexpected” ahead of this year’s ceremony in March.
Bill Kramer, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told Time magazine that the organization has created a “full crisis team” for the ceremony following the debacle of the 2022 show. Smith resigned from the academy after being thrown out and banned from attending the Academy Awards for ten years.
“We have a full crisis team, which we’ve never had before, and a lot of plans in place,” Kramer said. “We are running a lot of cases. So hopefully we’ll be prepared for anything that we don’t expect right now but we’re planning for in case it happens.”
The slap continued, Kramer continued, the leaders of the academy were opened to consider what could happen during the Oscars and how they will act.
“But these crisis plans – the crisis communication teams and the structures we have in place – allow us to say that this is the group we need to gather very quickly. This is how we all come together. This is the spokesperson. This is the statement,” he said.
“And of course depending on the specifics of the crisis, and hopefully something doesn’t happen and we never have to use them, but we already have frameworks in place that we can modify.”
Academy President Janet Yang recently described the organization’s response to the slap as “inadequate.”
“We learned from this that the academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions, and especially in times of crisis you must act quickly, mercifully and decisively for ourselves and our industry,” said Yang. “You shouldn’t and you won’t be able to expect any less from us in the future.”
Jimmy Kimmel is set to host this year’s post-slap ceremony on March 12.
Kramer, in his interview with Time, described Kimmel as someone who knew how to deal with live television and a live audience.
“That’s why you want someone like Jimmy on stage who’s used to dealing with live TV: Things don’t always go as planned. So you have a host who can change and manage those moments,” Kramer said.
Smith, who struggled with his attack on Rock, is finally making light of the moment on TikTok.
Watch Smith’s TikTok below.