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Will Smith’s Slap at the 2022 Oscars Has Forced the Academy to Take a Major Step for This Year’s Show

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn’t forgotten last year’s slap heard around the world after Will Smith clocked Chris Rock during the live Oscars’ broadcast. The embarrassing incident is something they don’t want to repeat — like, ever again — so they’ve launched new safety measures to keep everything running smoothly. 

This year, the show will have a “crisis team” in place just in case anything happens — from a fight to the wrong movie being announced as Best Picture. You know, anything could happen. The Academy’s CEO Bill Kramer shared the updates with Time about the new plans. “We have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and many plans in place,” he explained. “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.”

It’s no secret that people behind the scenes were slow to respond to Smith’s shocking actions onstage — and the Academy’s reaction in the days following the incident was also criticized. “Because of last year, we’ve opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars,” Kramer noted. “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.”

Kramer sounds a bit sensitive to what happened last year because it affected so many people — Smith was banned from the ceremony for the next 10 years, Rock hasn’t accepted the Oscar winner’s apology, and it spoiled the night for anyone who won after the onstage altercation. As Kramer summed up, “Let’s hope something doesn’t happen.” He really doesn’t want to test that crisis team in its inaugural year.

Before you go, click here to see more of the most shocking Oscars moments.

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