The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a “crisis team” for this year’s Oscars in response to Will Smith’s slap.
At the 2022 Academy Awards, the “Men in Black” actor famously slapped presenter Chris Rock onstage after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
He returned to his seat, and the ceremony continued as normal, with Smith winning Best Actor shortly after.
AMPAS chief executive Bill Kramer has now revealed in an interview with Time magazine that the organization has set up a response team should a crisis occur at this year’s ceremony on March 12th.
“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 said. “Because of (the slap) 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.”
Earlier this month, AMPAS president Janet Yang acknowledged that the organization’s response to the slap was “inadequate.”
Academy officials, who later claimed Smith was asked to leave the auditorium after the incident, later publicly condemned his actions and launched a formal review. They subsequently revoked his membership and banned him from attending the ceremony for 10 years.
The Independence Day star had already resigned from the Academy and apologized for his behavior by that time.