Television

Oscar: What happened at ABC when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock

ABC’s Rob Mills sat in Oscar’s production trailer on Sunday night when show producer and director Glenn Weiss realized things were going wrong.

“I think Chris Rock came in and he was doing material based on what happened that night, as comedians do,” Mills recalled. variety The day after the now infamous Will Smith / Chris Rock Oscar Slap. [‘G.I. Jane’] just kidding. Obviously, you can see that the joke didn’t land with Jada. And you can see Will get up and start walking. “

Control room experts are accustomed to unplanned incidents. For example, Weiss, a television veteran who directed Oscar in the year La La Land was mistakenly announced as Best Work before La La Land finally won the championship. It was the moment people got up and got things done, so I thought this was one of them. “

“GI Jane”‘s Quip was an ad-lib that wasn’t in the script, Mills added. The seriousness of the situation soon became apparent when both Rock and Smith began to curse. The limits of the broadcast standard, “Smith would have beaten the shit from me,” Mills said. “That was when it became clear that this wasn’t a joke.”

For home viewers, the confusion continued as ABC censors dropped out audio for long periods of time. Let something go through, “Mills said.

International broadcasters need to get the live feed of the ceremony and decide for themselves whether to sound the buzzer. That’s why buzzerless videos from other countries quickly appeared on social media, showing what really happened.

From there, the decision in the control room was to continue the show. “I heard that Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry went to Will to see what was happening and provided advice,” Mills said. You need to remember that you are holding a live show. If this had been pre-recorded, we would have stopped. You need to remember that there is a show. Obviously, this was disappointing, but not enough to think, “OK, we need to stop the whole show.” Continued. “

The moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage.
Christopher Polk for Variety

Mills said the academy needs to post-analyze what happened on Sunday night and implement a protocol in case this happens again. “When Mariah Carey had some voice problems singing, I was on the track with him in our control room on New Year’s Eve, and the guy who keeps his head cool and keeps the show moving. No one. Obviously, he knows exactly what’s going on. He’s really great in this situation. “

Mills said he noticed that the Will Smith / Chris Rock moment cast a shadow over the rest of the night. “He said. “Last night we had great winners and great emotions.”

Regarding whether the Academy considered asking Smith to leave, Mills said he was unaware of those arguments — but also noted the unusual nature of what was happening. “It’s likely to be the winner of the best actor,” Mills said. .. “

When Smith gave an acceptance speech, the screen moved to the Oscar logo slide due to some glitches while the actor was speaking. There have been reports of wardrobe malfunctions, but Mills watching the feed live didn’t see anything about it. I don’t know what happened in nature. “I’m not sure what the problem was. Looking at the feed, it certainly wasn’t obvious.”

After the Smith incident, host Amy Schumer came in and helped lighten the situation by jokingly asking the audience if he had missed something while in the wardrobe. Mills emphasized the need to have a host.

“It was the boy that we all noticed and started watching at the rehearsal. How many were we without a host,” he said. I don’t have a host … I thought all three women were great all night. “

variety When I talked to Mills on Monday morning, he helped the show grow in reputation. This is the second lowest Oscar on record, but the number of viewers has recovered to 15.36 million from last year’s COVID-related decline. Below are other answers. Burning questions from this year’s ceremony.

Did DJ D-Nice clear his musical clues? Did they lead to some controversial moments, such as the use of his song “Africa”?

I saw some chatter, but I don’t know who cleared it. Certainly, I didn’t notice until I saw the show, so I don’t know if I cleared it or not. In an instant.

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Becky G, Megan Thee Stallion and Luis Fonsi play “Don’t Talk About Bruno”.
ABC

Why do you show off a “don’t talk about Bruno” remix with Megan Thee Stallion, Luis Fonsi and Becky G instead of the full song?

Will Packer and his producing partner, Sheila Cowan, tried things, made choices, and chose them. I think they were certainly trying to make something special and unique. They brought in Megan Thee Stallion. Get, and finally Luis Fonsi and Becky G. But at first there was also an original cast. I think the points made by people who love this song are effective. I thought there were a lot, but I do. Understand the people who have been waiting for some of those columns.

Why didn’t the entire speech of the eight “Golden Hour” winners appear?

It was very important to name all the candidates and show them their work. Part of the speech was being edited. Is difficult. Anyone who feels about this will understand where it came from. I may not have understood all the words, but I did understand the music of the speech. This is obviously a post-mortem analysis as well, talking about what worked, what didn’t, and what it looks like next. Year.

What is the cause of the TV broadcast exceeding 3 hours?

Every year, I try to find something that I can put my finger on, saying, “This is the one that has become so long.” And it’s the same every year, but honestly I don’t know. Suddenly, when I looked at the clock, Mr. Mills said, “I felt like the rehearsal show was over in a blink of an eye after 11 o’clock on the east coast. Of course, the speech went on, but last night’s speech was great. Really. I don’t think anyone didn’t do that. ” I want to hear or say that the speech should have been shorter. You’re trying to pack a year’s worth of movies in three hours, but it’s always difficult. Indeed, packers now do this in 3 hours and less than a second. Everyone has that intent. When I see the show, I sometimes say, “If I try again, I might move it or cut it here.” I had a hard time finding what I thought was really too long. We should have removed it. “

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Oscar’s memorial segment.
ABC

Where did the idea of ​​giving the in-memorium an up-tempo atmosphere come from?
That was all about Will and Sheila, and that was their vision. I really applaud them. I felt like I lost more touchstones this year than many others. This was consciously chosen. It was a celebration of my life and I thought it was absolutely wonderful.

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Billie Eilish and Finius will play “No Time to Die”.
ABC

Why was Billie Eilish and Finius’ “No Time to Die” performance not related to James Bond’s tribute?

Frankly, I was thinking about it myself, but I think it was a conscious choice to separate it. Probably so too. But there are never too many bonds. It’s bad to have two bond moments.

Did the producer approach the living James Bond to get together as part of a homage to the franchise?

I know that Daniel Craig was filming, so at least I know it was being treated roughly. But I also think that the producer will never blame him for wanting to try something different. I expected James Bond to come out, but I think he was trying to find a through line between the world’s greatest spies and the world’s three greatest athletes.

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Beyonce will perform “Be Alive”.
ABC

Did you have any plans to hold a live show at Beyonce in Compton?

Beyonce really had that vision. As you can see, it was the person in my head. What do you think is the best way for us to implement that vision? It was to tape it in advance. And make sure it was absolutely perfect.

Did anything take time?

There were some, but Amy, Wanda, and Regina really chose to continue, kill, and get off. There was nothing elaborate that we couldn’t see. You saw most of it. With some odds and the end you could really see almost everything. All three women did not be so elaborate that Amy was flying outfitted like Spider-Man. Except for what they all came up with and said.

Will the packer come back as a producer next year?

It really depends on him. Obviously, he has a day labor job. Whether he did this, that’s it, or more in the future, I really have to thank him. The end of last year and all the beginnings of this are working on this and making a really great show.

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