The upcoming Academy Awards will feature a rapid-response “crisis team” to prevent any incidents like the infamous 2022 slap, according to BBC.
The Academy drew heavy criticism for failing to stop actor Will Smith from attacking presenter Chris Rock and for not ejecting Smith after the slap. Smith slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada, who lost her hair due to alopecia. (RELATED: Will Smith Hits Chris Rock During The Oscars)
“[W]e have run many scenarios. 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,” Academy Chief Executive Bill Kramer told Time Magazine. “Because of last year, we have opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars.”
Oscars ‘crisis team’ in place after last year’s Will Smith slap https://t.co/3yaaJ9tpB0
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 23, 2023
The team will be able to assemble “very quickly” should something occur on the night, Kramer told Time.
Janet Yang, the president of the Academy, expressed her disappointment with the way the slap was handled. “What happened onstage was fully unacceptable and the response from our organization was inadequate. We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions, and particularly in times of crisis you must act swiftly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward,” she told Variety.
The 95th Academy Awards are scheduled for March 12 with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.