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The Oscars Have a Crisis Team Now, Which Is Spectacularly Daft

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 23, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | February 23, 2023 |


Last year, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. It was an awkward moment, to say the least, and it was a bad idea to let Smith accept his Oscar a few minutes later. It was an ugly scene, and for a couple of weeks, it’s all anyone could talk about. Everyone took sides. People treated it with grave seriousness. Mike got half a dozen Pajiba Love headlines out of it.

And then the time + tragedy = comedy formula finally kicked in, and even Will Smith — who spent three months in a cave in Tibet chanting to Tom Cruise’s God trying to heal or something — is goofing on himself. We live in a post-Slap world now, and I really don’t think it’s all that necessary to put a comms team together specifically to deal with a matter like the Slap because last year was the first and only time it’s ever happened in over 90 years of Oscar ceremonies.

But the Academy has put together a “crisis team” to deal with just such a possibility.

“We have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and many plans in place. We’ve run many scenarios,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chief Bill Kramer said.

“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.”

Oh, wait: I see! They put together a team not to prevent potential violence — there’s no one who has been assigned to dive in front of The Rock before he slaps Dave Bautista or pull Jimmy Kimmell out of a bit to protect the integrity of the awards. What they’ve done is put together some publicists who will be prepared to write a press release on the fly in case of an emergency! Oh my, I hope they never have to use their emergency publicists, but I’m glad they have this team in place, because if some real shit goes down, there will be professional statement crafters on hand to deal with the aftermath, and by that, I mean: Direct any and all blame away from the Academy.

The Oscars will air on March 12th.

Header Image Source: Getty Images