Will Smith’s outburst at last year’s Oscars prompted organizers to assemble a “crisis” team ahead of next month’s ceremony.
It will be the first time such a step has been taken, said Academy Executive Director Bill Kramer, saying the team is prepared for any unforeseen events.
The team ran “a lot of scenarios,” Kramer said, ahead of the March 12 ceremony, which will be hosted by late-night American chat show host Jimmy Kimmel.
Last year, Will Smith got on stage and slapped Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, with the former shouting “keep my wife’s name, out of your mouth”, as he returned to his seat.
He later won the best actor award for his role in the tennis biopic King Richard.
smith was academy event ban for the next 10 years. He has since apologized to Rock for the incident.
‘We’ll be ready for anything’
Speaking to Time magazine, Kramer was asked if steps had been taken to mitigate any “potential surprises” at this year’s event.
“Absolutely, and that’s why you want someone like Jimmy (Kimmel) onstage who’s used to dealing with live TV: Things don’t always go as planned,” he said.
“So you have a host that can really pivot and manage those moments.
“But we have a whole crisis team, which we’ve never had before, and a lot of plans in the works.
“We’ve run a lot of scenarios. So it’s our hope that we’re prepared for anything that we can’t anticipate right now, but that we’re planning for in case it happens.”
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Oscars Response Was “Inappropriate”
Academy president Janet Yang said earlier this month that the organization’s response to Smith’s slap was “inadequate”.
She told attendees at the annual Oscar nominees luncheon that the Academy has learned to be “fully transparent and accountable in our actions.”
“Particularly in times of crisis, we must act quickly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and our industry,” she said.
“You must and cannot expect less from us going forward.”
Multiversal Adventure Everything Everywhere at Once leads this year’s nominations with 11 nods, while war epic All Quiet On The Western Front and Irish dramedy The Banshees of Inisherin follow with nine each.
Unusually for the Oscars, blockbuster films made the lists this year, with the likes of the Avatar sequels and Top Gun both making the cut.