For the first time since his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, posted her video boycotting the 2016 Oscars, Will Smith finally speaks out on his reaction to this ruckus that has happened since then. He sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America to discuss his feelings on the Oscar controversy.
In the exclusive interview that ABC posted, Will Smith spilled his feelings on the boycott. He was out of the country when his wife chose to speak out against the all-white nominations of the Academy Awards and decided to boycott the Oscars this year because of it. He laughed that he would have liked to be given a heads up about it, but he is supporting her completely. The actor did not know that she was going to do that and had no clue what was going at the time.
He was, indeed, surprised by what he heard when he got home, but certainly not surprised that his wife did something like this. He said that Jada is very passionate about this issue, and when she is this passionate about something, she has to go. Will said that he was “knocked over” and happy to be married to her.
When asked about his own feelings on this Oscars controversy, Smith started out by expressing his ideals of what the American dream was growing up as a kid and still is.
“The beauty of Hollywood combined with American ideals is the ultimate dream for humanity. The American concept of anything is possible with hard work and dedication no matter your race or religion, none of that matters in America.”
Will said that diversity is the “American super power.” He went on about America’s ideas and inspirations, and he said that for himself, he feels that he needs to fight to protect the ideals to make our country, and Hollywood, great. When he looks at the faces of who got the Oscar nominations, he said that he didn’t see those ideals reflected.
Will Smith reminisced of being nominated twice for an Oscar. He laughed that both times he never lost to a white person. The first time, Denzel Washington took home an Oscar and the second time it went to Forrest Whitaker. In light of that, he said that he sees everyone as beautiful and fantastic and certainly deserving of the nominations this year. However, there could be more diversity, as he explained the kind of industry that he doesn’t want to encourage.
“The nominations reflect the Academy. The Academy reflects the industry of Hollywood. The industry reflects America that reflects a series of challenges that we are having in our country at the moment. It’s a regressive slide towards separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony, and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind.”
Will Smith is putting his words into action, because he is not going to be attending the Oscars this year at all. He said that he is showing support for his wife and for this controversial issue. He said that at this time, they would both feel uncomfortable being there. According to a report by CNN, Spike Lee is also boycotting the Oscars this year, as well.
When Robin Roberts mentioned that some are saying that his wife was just upset that he didn’t receive a nomination for his role in the movie Concussion, Smith did admit that Jada was probably a little bit upset, but this was more about the issue at hand. He painted a portrayal of kids sitting down to watch the awards show and they are not going to see themselves represented.
The 47-year-old actor mentioned that looking at the nominations, they are 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male. It’s hard to get a “diverse cultural sampling” from those numbers.
“It’s a systematic bias that needs to be addressed across the industry.”
He did say that we need to get out of the disharmony that is brewing in our country and in the industry. He suggested keeping on debating and having constructive conversations about it, but with love and respect.
What are your thoughts on what Will Smith has said about the non-diversity of Hollywood and the boycott of the Oscars?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) ]