On Guard: The 2023 Oscars Is Prepared With First Ever ‘Crisis Team’ - Arts & Culture

Academy CEO Bill Kramer revealed that a “crisis team” has been created for the 95th Academy Awards in response to last year’s Will Smith slap.

Many might recall the unprecedented incident that occurred in last year’s Academy Awards, when actor Will Smith stormed the stage to slap presenter Chris Rock. This happened after Rock poked fun at the shaved head of Smith’s wife—Jada Pinkett Smith—without knowing that it was a result of her recent alopecia diagnosis

The 54-year-old actor eventually apologized after the incident, but the damage had already been done. He has since been banned from the Academy Awards for a period of 10 years. Smith’s slap was quite a scandal for the Academy, one that the organization is still attempting to rectify to this day. 

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Better Safe Than Sorry

During the 2023 Oscar Nominees luncheon, Janet Yang—president of the Academy—stated that their response to Smith’s slap was “inadequate.” However, she adds that the organization has learned from this, and will be taking greater accountability in times of crisis. 

“We must act swiftly, compassionately, and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward,” she elaborates, as written in an article from The Hollywood Reporter

A recent promotional countdown for this year's Oscars
A recent promotional countdown for this year’s Oscars/Photo via Instagram @theacademy.

Indeed, it seems that the Academy is staying true to this promise. In an interview with Time magazine, the organization’s CEO Bill Kramer stated that a “crisis team” has been created in order to prevent similar incidents from happening in this year’s Oscars. Kramer explained that the team has “run many scenarios,” creating plans to help prepare them for anything that comes their way. 

“Let’s hope something doesn’t happen and we never have to use these, but we already have frameworks in place that we can modify,” shared Kramer in the interview. 

The Host With the Most

Besides having a crisis team in place, the Academy has also carefully selected the host of this year’s Oscars, who is none other than renowned talk show personality Jimmy Kimmel. This makes sense, considering Kimmel’s vast experience in the world of live television, where anything can happen.

Oscars official announcement from Jimmy Kimmel
An official announcement from Jimmy Kimmel/Photo via Instagram @jimmykimmel.

“Things don’t always go as planned. So you have a host in place who can really pivot and manage those moments,” Kramer explained in his interview with Time. Hopefully, a tactful host and well-equipped crisis team should be enough to keep the 95th Academy Awards running smoothly when it takes place on March 12, 2023.

Banner Photo via Instagram @jimmykimmel.

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