Following the Will Smith Slap, the Oscars 2023 will Feature a “Crisis Team”

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars was arguably the biggest viral moment of 2022, but the Academy is putting a “crisis team” in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again this year.

What happened?

The world could not stop talking about Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Oscars after Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith‘s bald head; it was one of the most notorious events in Academy Awards history and became known as “the slap.”

Later that evening, Smith would get the Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of Serena and Venus Williams, in the film “King Richard.”

Since March, a lot has changed, including Rock and Pinkett Smith responding to the incident, Smith receiving criticism from the Academy, and celebrity reactions to what they saw.

Twice in public, the “King Richard” actor expressed regret for what happened. On July 29, he addressed frequently asked concerns, such as why Smith did not apologise to Rock in his acceptance speech for best actor, in his most current and first on-camera apology, which he made in the form of a YouTube video titled “It’s been a minute…”. I went out to Chris, and the response I received indicated that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he would call out Smith said. “I was fogged out by that time. It’s all foggy. I shall thus apologize to you, Chris.

So what are the preparations?

CEO of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bill Kramer discussed the preparations in an interview with Time (via Variety).

We have several strategies in place and a full crisis team, which is something we’ve never had before, according to Kramer. We have tested various situations, so we believe we will be ready for anything that may not be currently on our radar but for which we are making preparations just in case.

Kramer stated, “This year, the Academy wants to be ready for any kind of circumstance. The Academy admits it was unprepared for the incident last year, with Academy Awards producer Will Packer even saying he, “thought it was a bit. I wasn’t concerned at all.”

Because of last year, we’ve become more aware of the variety of potential crises that could occur 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 come together very quickly. This is how we all come together. This is the spokesperson. This will be the statement.

Smith received a 10-year Oscars ban as a result of the slap. Since then, the actor has gone on numerous apology tours, and Rock has made the most of the situation by using it in some of his comedic performances.

You may get ready for this year’s Oscars by looking at the nominees, with Everything Everywhere All At Once leading with 11 nods. The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, March 12, 2023.


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