Oscars 2023 to have ‘crisis team’ on standby in case of ‘potential surprises’ after last year’s Will Smith slap
The 2023 Academy Awards have a ‘crisis team’ waiting in the wings in case of any ‘surprises’ during the ceremony.
It’s almost a year since the 2022 event made headlines around the world after actor Will Smith strode on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock, live during the ceremony.
Rock, who had made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, insists he did not know she had alopecia.
The incident sparked a major conversation, grabbed headlines for weeks, and saw Smith – who won the Oscar for best actor minutes after slapping Rock – banned from the Academy for 10 years.
Now bosses are preparing to put on the 2023 event, and aren’t willing to risk a similar situation leading the prestigious ceremony to get out of hand.
Academy chief executive Bill Kramer has confirmed a ‘crisis team’ will be introduced for the first time ever, to prepare for any ‘potential surprises.’
He told Time Magazine that the team had run ‘many scenarios’ ahead of the 95th Academy Awards, and it was partly why they had chosen veteran presenter Jimmy Kimmel to host, as he is ‘used to dealing with live TV.’
‘Things don’t always go as planned. So you have a host in place who can really pivot and manage those moments,’ he explained.
‘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.’
There is already controversy leading up to the 2023 event, with organisers admitting ‘concern over the nomination of one of the women in the best actress category.
British actress Andrea Riseborough found herself nominated for best actress alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett and Michelle Williams, while other stars such as Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler were snubbed despite being hotly-tipped for a nod.
She was nominated for her role in film To Lesie, a little-known movie which earned just over $27,000 (£22,000) at the box office.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences later announced it would be conducting a review of the nominations process after it emerged several high-profile Hollywood figures, including Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron, publicly backed Riseborough for the vote.
However the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed she will keep her nomination despite admitting they have ‘concerns’ around the campaign.
CEO Kramer told Deadline in a statement: ‘Based on concerns that surfaced last week around the To Leslie awards campaign, the Academy began a review into the film’s campaigning tactics.
‘The Academy has determined the activity in question does not rise to the level that the film’s nomination should be rescinded. However, we did discover social media and outreach campaigning tactics that caused concern.’
First appear at Oscars 2023 to have ‘crisis team’ on standby in case of ‘potential surprises’ after last year’s Will Smith slap