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Will Smith inspires creation of a 'crisis team' within the Academy as the Oscars near

The 2022 incident when the Emancipation actor slapped Chris Rock served as a catalyst for major changes within the Academy

will smith
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
February 23, 2023
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Hollywood is no stranger to plenty of dramatics and controversies, but little has been as quickly etched into people's minds as seeing Will Smith walk on stage to slap Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.

Little has – despite the wave of criticism they have received for years with various concerns  – also caused such an urge to change things within the way things work than the shocking incident.

In the aftermath, which included a hiatus for the King Richard actor and a 10-year ban from attending the annual awards, the Academy has rolled out a series of new measures to make sure everything goes far more smoothly.

WATCH: Will Smith reappears months after Chris Rock Oscars slap to answer difficult questions and issue apologies

MORE: Will Smith pays heartfelt tribute to daughter Willow with unseen family photos

As the Academy continues to grapple with the fallout of the several controversies they have faced in recent years, they have decided to incorporate a "crisis team" into their organization to be on high alert during the show and beyond.

Speaking with TIME, the Academy's CEO, Bill Kramer – who only became the organization's leader last July – detailed what measures would be in place should a surprise crisis arise in the middle of the show.

MORE: Will Chris Rock attend the 2023 Oscars?

When asked how they are preparing, the entertainment executive first praised their choice of host, Jimmy Kimmel, as someone who is more than adept at handling live television.

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars© Photo: Getty Images

The star has since apologized for the incident

Speaking of the newly founded crisis team, he said: "We have a whole crisis team, something we've never had before, and many plans in place."

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He added: "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."

Will Smith winning his first Oscar© Photo: Getty Images

Will won his very first Oscar minutes after the on-stage fiasco

"Because of last year, we've opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars," he stated, and they have already benefited from the new measures, which they already put to use when handling the campaign behind Andrea Riseborough's nomination for To Leslie.

The Oscars will come back for their 95th show on March 12, at 8pm on ABC.

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