Academy Has ‘Whole Crisis Team’ Ready for 2023 Oscars Following Will Smith Slap

This year's Oscars ceremony, set for next month, is the first since the 2022 edition during which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock over a Jada joke.

The Slap is seen taking place at Oscars

Image via Getty/Neilson Barnard

The Slap is seen taking place at Oscars

Following last year’s slapping of Chris Rock by Will Smith during the Oscars broadcast, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is preparing for the unexpected with the implementation of “a whole crisis team.”

That’s the word straight from Academy CEO Bill Kramer, who this week spoke withTime about the impending 2023 edition of the annual awards ceremony. Speaking on the difficult-to-plan-for aspect of live TV, Kramer first pointed to this year’s returning host Jimmy Kimmel as the ideal choice for that exact reason. From there, he dove into “crisis” chatter and how this feature will be worked into the behind-the-scenes proceedings of the 2023 event.

“But we have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and many plans in place,” Kramer, who was named Academy CEO in June of last year, told Eliana Dockterman. “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.”

Re-sharing my scoop on the Oscars “crisis team” practicing for “scenarios” like The Slap. Apparently Twitter is having a field day coming up with potential Oscars debacles (My bets are on Lydia Tár charging the stage)

Elaborating further after the slap was specifically mentioned by the interviewer, Kramer imagined how a hypothetical incident involving the need for this “crisis team” might play out.

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

Kramer also addressed the nomination campaign behind Andrea Riseborough, who’s up for Best Actress for her critically lauded To Leslie performance, and much more. Read the full thing here.

Complex has reached out to an Oscars rep for additional comment. This story may be updated.

In April of last year, David Rubin and Dawn Hudson—who were then serving as Academy President and CEO, respectively—shared a letter detailing the Board of Governors’ decision to ban Will Smith from the Oscars for a 10-year period.

“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry,” the two said at the time. “This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short—unprepared for the unprecedented.”

Smith, of course, has apologized for slapping Chris Rock following a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith at last year’s ceremony. Rock, meanwhile, has made headlines on numerous occasions in connection with slap mentions at his stand-up shows.

Most recently, Smith appeared to reference slapgate in a TikTok in which he was seen holding his Best Actor trophy.

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