Oscars introduce ‘crisis team’ for upcoming ceremony after Will Smith slap

The CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed plans for the 95th Academy Awards in a recent interview.

The Oscars are revealing significant shifts to the annual broadcast after last year’s controversy when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. In a recent interview with Time Magazine, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bill Kramer revealed that they have a “whole crisis team” in place for the upcoming ceremony next month.

94th Annual Academy Awards - Show
Chris Rock and Will Smith are seen onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

When asked about the nature of live broadcasts and the “unexpected things” that can sometimes happen, Kramer said, “We have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and many plans in place. We’ve 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.”

The CEO then opened up about the slap specifically, saying, “Because of last year, we’ve opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars. But these crisis plans — the crisis communication teams and structures we have in place — allow us to say this is the group that we have to gather very quickly. This is how we all come together. This is the spokesperson. This will be the statement.” He went on to state that while they hopefully will never have to utilize these plans, they do have “frameworks in place.”

Pillar Unveiling Ceremony For Academy Governor At Large Janet Yang At The Academy Museum Of Motion Pictures
Academy museum director and president Bill Kramer attends the pillar unveiling ceremony for academy governor at large Janet Yang at The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on June 21, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, the “slap heard around the world” sparked conversations nationwide regarding awards shows, celebrity, masculinity and more. At the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith got on stage and struck Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke referencing Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.

The Academy announced that Smith was banned from the ceremony for 10 years, two weeks after the on-camera incident. Since the slap happened, Smith has issued numerous apologies, including a written statement and video apology.

The 95th Academy Awards will air at 8 PM EST on Sunday, Mar. 12 on ABC.

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