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Academy Adds Oscars 'Crisis Team' Post Will Smith-Chris Rock Slapgate

"We have a whole crisis team, something we've never had before, and many plans in place. We've run many scenarios," said Bill Kramer, CEO of the Academy.

Hollywood News
| Written By
Anjali Negi
Oscars 2023

Image: AP

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO, Bill Kramer confirmed that the organisation has put in place a new 'crisis team'. It has been added to handle any potential real-time emergencies, efficiently, that may occur at the upcoming Oscars 2023. This decison came post slapgate incident of Oscars 2022 when Will Smith climbed on stage and struck the presenter Chris Rock in the face.

Academy President on crisis team

Academy President Janet Yang acknowledged that the organisation did not handle the incident swiftly enough. Speaking to Time magazine Bill 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."

He added, "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.' And obviously, depending on the specifics of the crisis, and 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."

More about the Slapgate 

Will Smith charged the stage at the last year's Academy Awards and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

While the Academy swiftly criticized Smith's conduct in a statement following the event and later forbade Smith from attending the Oscars for ten years. Many questioned that why Smith was permitted to maintain his seat after assaulting Rock on stage. People even raised their concern that after such an incident why he even won the Oscar for King Richard. 

Meanwhile, following the ban, Smith resigned from the academy writing in a statement, “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”

However, the actor is still eligible to receive nominations and win awards.

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