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Oscars 2023 has a ‘crisis team’ on hand to thwart a sequel to the infamous hit

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With the Will Smith-Chris Rock showdown fresh in everyone’s minds, the infamous ‘slap’ remains a big part of the Oscar Awards. Host Jimmy Kimmel may have insisted he can’t be beaten because “I cry a lot,” but the organizers aren’t willing to take any chances. Oscars 2023, you may be surprised to learn, has a ‘crisis team’ ready to deal with an unwanted sequel to The Slap.

While we’d venture to say a recurrence is unlikely, it’s likely to be talked about early and often. Kimmel has already indicated that it will feature in his opening monologue. In an interview with USA Today, he said he had “studied martial arts since they asked me to host the show.”

“They had some kind of crisis management meeting where I think they come up with scenarios that we could face, but no one briefed me on that. So if there’s a crisis, I’m the only one left in the dark,” he added.

A “crisis team,” CEO Bill Kramer told Time magazine in February, had been set up for the first time in the Academy’s history to capture “moments of surprise” in future events. The new team has been running many scenarios in preparation for hopefully ready to tackle ‘everything’.

“Because of last year, we opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars. But these crisis plans – the crisis communications teams and structures that we have – allow us to say that this is the group we need to assemble very quickly,” he told the publication.

It’s pertinent to note here that Will Smith will not be attending this year’s Oscars, having been banned for a decade after punching Chris Rock at last year’s ceremony. Meanwhile, Rock finally hit back at Smith with a sizzling stand-up set about the incident during a live Netflix special on Saturday.

The comedian boasted that he “took that hit like Pacquiao” and talked about “waking up”, hypersensitivity and what he called “selective outrage”.

“You never know who might be triggered. Anyone who says hurt words has not been punched in the face,” he added.

(With input from agencies)


Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.