Oscar Academy establishes a ‘whole crisis team’ for unlikely scenarios following Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has established a crisis team after 2022 shocking incident in which actor, Will Smith slapped his colleague, Chris Rock.

Bill Kramer, the Chief Executive of the Academy of Motion Pictures revealed the award ceremony will be “prepared for anything” with its new crisis team.

The announcement comes in response to last year’s infamous Oscar incident, where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the ceremony’s telecast.

Academy CEO Bill Kramer told TIME that

‘Because of last year, we’ve opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars.”

Kramer also said that the institution has implemented the organization of a group focused on handling emergency situations at the annual event.

According to Kramer, the Academy’s “crisis team” consists of communications teams able to “gather very quickly” to act as a spokesperson or issue statements.

the CEO added that;

“So it is our hope that we will be prepared for anything that we may not anticipate right now but that we’re planning for just in case it does happen”.

During the Oscars luncheon on 17th February, Janet Yang, the Academy’s president, aired her regrets about last year’s response to the unexpected slap.

She said:

“I’m sure you all remember we experienced an unprecedented event at the Oscars,” Yang told a crowd that included Tom Cruise, Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, and Steven Spielberg during her opening remarks. “What happened onstage was wholly unacceptable and the response from our organization was inadequate.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did little in response to Smith storming the stage and slapping Rock during last year’s telecast or in the immediate aftermath. It was nearly two weeks before its board of governors voted to ban Smith from the Oscars and all other academy events for 10 years. Smith had already preemptively resigned as an academy member.

Meanwhile, Yang, who was not president at the time of the incident, was interrupted by a mild round of applause, and did not elaborate further, moving on to happier topics.

The 95th annual Academy Awards are on Sunday, 12th March 2023, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. The ceremony is set to begin at 8 p.m.

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