The Academy Awards still deal with the repercussions of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year’s show. In fact, under their new leadership, they’ve even created a crisis team to handle any future fiascos like the slap.
Last July, Bill Kramer became the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO. Since then, he has faced two major issues: declining viewership and the slap. In response to the slap, Kramer created a crisis team to stop incidents before they escalated.
In an interview with TIME magazine, Kramer was asked what measures had been put in place for this year’s Academy Awards to ensure that no unexpected situations arise. He said a good host, such as Jimmy Kimmel, who is hosting this year, is good because they are used to dealing with live TV and can navigate unexpected situations. He also talked about the formation of the crisis team.
“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.”
Kramer said that the crisis team has been running possible scenarios that could take place during the event. He even admitted that last year’s show’s events are the reason for their changes.
“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. 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.”
You can read the full interview here.