Oscars ‘crisis team’ in place after last year’s Will Smith slap | Ents & Arts News
Will Smith’s outburst at last year’s Oscars has led to organisers putting a “crisis” team in place ahead of the ceremony next month.
It will be the first time such a step has been taken Academy chief executive Bill Kramer revealed, saying the team is prepared for any unanticipated events.
The team has run “many scenarios”, Mr Kramer said, ahead of the 12 March ceremony which will be hosted by US late night chat show host Jimmy Kimmel.
Last year, Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, with the former yelling “keep my wife’s name, out your f****** mouth” once he had returned to his seat.
He later went on to win the award for best actor for his role in tennis biopic, King Richard.
Smith was barred from Academy events for the next 10 years. He has since apologised to Rock over the incident.
‘We will be prepared for anything’
Speaking to Time magazine, Mr Kramer was asked if measures had been put in place to mitigate any “potential surprises” at this year’s event.
“Absolutely, and that’s why you want someone like Jimmy (Kimmel) on stage who is used to dealing with live TV: Things don’t always go as planned,” he said.
“So you have a host in place who can really pivot and manage those moments.
“But 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.”
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Oscars response has been ‘inadequate’
The Academy’s president, Janet Yang, said earlier this month that the organisation’s response to Smith’s slap had been “inadequate”.
She told those attending the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon the Academy had learned to be “fully transparent and accountable in our actions”.
“Particularly in times of crisis we must act swiftly and compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry,” she said.
“You should and can expect no less from us going forward.”
Multiversal adventure Everything Everywhere All At Once leads this year’s nominations with 11 nods, while war epic All Quiet On The Western Front and Irish comedy-drama The Banshees of Inisherin follow with nine each.
Unusually for the Oscars, blockbusting films have made the shortlists this year, with the likes of the Avatar and Top Gun sequels both making the cut.