A team will be on hand to prevent another slapping incident.
Despite its admitted entertainment value, the infamous moment of the 2022 Academy Awards where Will Smith stomped onstage to slap Chris Rock after a joke about his wife’s alopecia has led to a greater scrutiny of the event’s security procedures. That was the first time anyone had been assaulted on the Oscars stage, and the showrunners would prefer it not happen again.
In order to prevent any more incidents like the slap, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be utilizing a “crisis team” during the 2023 Academy Awards, which are scheduled for next month. This team’s job will be to predict, intercept, and contain any potential outbursts or violence during the show and keep it from getting out of hand.
“We’ve run many scenarios,” Bill Kramer, the Academy’s chief executive officer, told Time Magazine. “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.”
“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,” Kramer added.
Crisis team in place for Oscars ceremony, after last year's Will Smith slap https://t.co/LgMlDQzOVe
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 23, 2023
“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.”