jada pinkett smith

Jada Pinkett Smith Finally Responds To ‘Aunt Viv’ Janet Hubert’s Oscar Boycott Rant…Sort Of

Jada Pinkett Smith had an unusual response when asked her thoughts regarding a recent viral video rant by former Fresh Prince “Aunt Viv” actress Janet Hubert. Hubert had responded to Pinkett Smith’s call to boycott the Oscars with some disdain for Jada and Will. In an exclusive video obtained by Entertainment Tonight, Jada was put on the spot by a nervous interviewer who asked Smith to make a comment on Hubert’s video.

Smith’s response, however, made no actual mention of Hubert and instead Jada used the moment to clarify her stance on the whole Oscar boycott controversy. Smith referred to the African American community in her response. And while it’s possible Jada was taking a jab at Hubert by saying, “I hope that we, as African Americans, can find a way to get along and step together in this,” Smith then went on to say that her original Facebook post didn’t necessarily have to do with the Oscars at all, but rather a bigger social issue.

“Right now, specifically with African American people, we have some very serious issues that I think that we as a people have to move together on,” Pinkett Smith stated thoughtfully. “So I am hoping we can find ways to step together on this instead of finding ways to fight each other.”

Jada Pinkett Smith was met with mixed reaction after posting a video to her Facebook on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday criticizing the Academy Awards for their lack of diversity by nominating only white actors and actresses. Smith had stated she would not be attending the Oscars, and several people suggested Jada’s boycott was nothing more than a reaction to the lack of nomination for her husband Will Smith.

Will, Jada, and Trey Smith at the Golden Globes, 2016. Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty
Will, Jada, and Trey Smith at the Golden Globes, 2016. Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty

Jada was soon joined in her boycott by director Spike Lee, who also condemned the Academy for its lack of recognition of people of color in the film industry. According to Variety, actor George Clooney was in agreement with Jada Pinkett Smith and Lee. “We’re moving in the wrong direction,” Clooney stated, supporting Jada’s claims. Though Clooney made no mention of Will Smith as a possible Oscar contender this year, George did refer to the exclusion of actor Idris Elba and the films Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton, all candidates that had generated Oscar buzz.

Jada Pinkett Smith attends the premiere of 'Concussion' starring her husband Will Smith. Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Jada Pinkett Smith attends the premiere of ‘Concussion’ starring her husband Will Smith. Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Though Jada’s message had garnered support, Smith also became the subject of criticism. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Janet Hubert released her video response to both Jada and Will Smith, and the actress’ rant went viral. Following Hubert’s condemnation of Jada’s video and suggestion that the Smiths were just as much to blame for the lack of roles available to people of color, other stars emerged to weigh in with some criticisms of their own of Pinkett Smith.

According to US Weekly, Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg took a moment on her show The View to discuss Jada’s request to boycott the Oscars. While Whoopi agreed with Pinkett Smith that there needed to be better opportunities for actors and actresses of color, Goldberg also called Jada’s boycott a “slap in the face” to this year’s Oscar host, Chris Rock.

Former Clueless actress and current Fox News correspondent Stacey Dash took the criticism of Jada Pinkett Smith’s call for action to a whole new level, however. According to People, Dash suggested that Pinkett Smith’s boycott was alluding to segregation and even went on to say that if Jada truly wants integration then awards for people of color such as the BET Awards or the NAACP Awards need to become a thing of the past.

While the controversy continues to escalate, two victims of the fallout of those who side with Jada Pinkett Smith versus those who side against her are comedian Chris Rock and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, both people of color. Many have suggested Rock show solidarity with Jada by withdrawing as host of the awards, including actor Tyrese Gibson and rapper 50 Cent. And Boone Isaacs has been scrambling to issue apologies and a promise to do better in the future, an effort that was recognized by Jada Pinkett Smith herself:

One surely has to wonder, though. If Jada Pinkett Smith’s boycott “isn’t really about the Oscars” as she contends in her interview why does Jada refer to it as the “issue at hand” in her tweet to Boone Isaacs?

For Jada Pinkett Smith’s entire reaction, click here.

[Jada Pinkett Smith cover image via Jason Kempin/Getty Images.]