Will Smith was all smiles and showing peace signs during his first public appearance after being poked fun at by Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony, according to E! Online.
Chris Rock, the host of the 88th Academy Awards, addressed Will Smith and his wife Jada’s calls to boycott the most important ceremony for the movie industry amid the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscars nominees. Will Smith was widely criticized for his decision to boycott this year’s Oscars ceremony with his wife.
In his opening monologue during the ceremony, Rock addressed the #OscarsSoWhite controversy by saying that “people went nuts” this year.
“Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada [Pinkett Smith] went mad. Will [Smith] went mad. Everyone went mad!”
Will Smith and his wife Jada, as well as Lee Daniels, Spike Lee, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and a number of other celebrities urged actors and actresses of color to boycott this year’s Oscars ceremony after the Academy nominated only white actors and actresses in the four Oscars acting categories for the second year in a row.
During his monologue, Rock expressed his surprise that Will Smith’s wife Jada protested the Academy Awards ceremony in the first place, since the actress works on TV shows.
“Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 29, 2016
As for Will Smith, Rock said that he gets his frustration as the 47-year-old actor wasn’t nominated for his movie Concussion. Rock noted that it wasn’t fair that Smith was “this good” and didn’t get an Oscar nomination, but then he delivered the punchline, saying that “it’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!”
However, Will Smith didn’t seem to be bothered by Rock’s comments when photographed leaving the set of his new film, Collateral Beauty, in New York on Monday. The actor was all smiles, he signed autographs, did a few selfies with his fans and showed a peace sign in front of the crowd.
— People Magazine (@people) March 1, 2016
Jada Pinkett Smith took to Facebook to urge actors and actresses of color to boycott the 88th Academy Awards immediately after her husband was snubbed by the Academy for his role in Concussion.
“Today is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I can’t help but ask the question: Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?”
Chris Rock was not the only one who made fun of Will Smith for protesting this year’s Oscars ceremony amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. According to the Daily Mail, What’s Love Got to Do with It actress Angela Bassett addressed the fact that Will Smith had been snubbed for his role in Concussion in a satirical skit.
Bassett started the segment titled “Black History Month Minute: Oscars Edition” by listing Will Smith’s previous movies, including Enemy of The State and Shark Tale, making the audience expect that the 47-year-old Focus actor was about to be recognized by the Academy.
— Fan Awards Clips (@FanAwardsClips) February 29, 2016
But then the actress, who portrayed Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It, awarded the honor of “acknowledging people of color” to Jack Black instead.
Basset was one of those who supported Rock’s decision to host the Oscars despite the lack of diversity and despite the fact that so many high-profile figures, including politicians, had been urging him to step down.
Chris Rock addressed the diversity and racism that exists within Hollywood several times throughout his time spent on stage of the Dolby Theater on Sunday. The host ended the show by saying “Black Lives Matter.”
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]