The Academy Creates 'Crisis Team' to Handle Celebrity Drama at Oscars After Will Smith Slap

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

If you needed just one more reason to consider celebrities a bunch of grown children, here it is.

According to Time Magazine, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted to make sure that they are prepared if their next Oscars ceremony features celebrities assaulting one another, like they did last year with Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


Time reported that the Academy’s CEO, Bill Kramer, has been tasked with reawakening a dying viewership for the awards ceremony, specifically viewers under the age of 40. This is a difficult task in the age of TikTok and YouTube, where younger generations can simply watch the highlights instead of sitting and watching a show for hours.

While Kramer is focusing on doing this, the Smith slap created quite a few headaches and distractions. As a result, Kramer created a “crisis team,” the first ever in the Academy’s history, to make sure that they could handle the PR fallout quickly and professionally.

“But we have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and many plans in place,” said Kramer. “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.”

Kramer admitted that he has no idea what might happen at this Oscars, especially as the Academy is embroiled in controversy surrounding the accusation of racism thrust upon it. That PR nightmare alone has taken up a lot of time and effort to fight.

While creating a crisis team is likely a good move on Kramer’s part, the fact that one even has to be created is kind of sad. Celebrities have apparently become too volatile and emotional to handle things like adults. Everything from physical violence to accusations of bigotry and racism can appear out of nowhere and without warning. A simple joke can incite an over-the-top reaction, and nominating the wrong person can result in an entire Twitter campaign to discredit and detract.


That’s show business, but while there’s no business like show business, the people that work in it are too often not people who should be mirrored or believed. As has been pointed out by a few self-aware celebrities, many are ignorant and uneducated, living in bubbles of false realities.

(READ: You’ll Love Anthony Hopkins’ Answer On Why He Doesn’t Weigh In On Current Events)

When you get a lot of people like that in a room, anything can happen. That said, more people paid attention to the Oscars in the year of the Smith slap, and attention-obsessed people who will do anything to get what they want may take cues from it. While I doubt the Oscars will turn into the WWE, there’s no telling what kind of drama we might see.


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