Will Smith has been at the center of the Oscars boycott. Not only was he snubbed from being nominated for his performance in Concussion, but his wife Jada Pinkett Smith started the boycott by sending out a video about African Americans knowing their own worth, and not giving into these establishments that don’t recognize their talent.
Others like director Spike Lee and actor Tyrese Gibson followed in suit. Eventually, Will Smith spoke out publicly about the boycott and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which put the Academy’s diversity problem on blast for the second year in a row.
Now, we’re finding out that Will Smith was given no heads up about his wife’s boycott video. While on BBC Radio’s Breakfast Show, Smith said that Jada Pinkett Smith’s video went viral when he was in another country.
“I was in Thailand. And I get off of the plane and you know, the paparazzi [were like], ‘Will, Will, you’re not going to the Oscars! What do you think about Jada’s video?’ ‘Um, I think, give me a second, let me call-‘ I had no idea. I had no idea and I’m like, ‘Babe, you gotta give a fellow a little heads up, you know? Just a lil something, just, ‘Hey babe, you know, hit me before you walk out of the airport.’ You know, give me, give me something.”
He continued, “I got in the car and Googled and watched the video,” he said. “I was like, ‘Honey, is there anything you need to tell me?’ She said, ‘Oh, I didn’t want to bother you on vacation.’ ‘Uh, you did. You really did.'”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 3, 2016
Despite the fact that Smith was on vacation, odds are he probably wouldn’t have been aware when the video was going down, given his busy schedule. As the Inquisitr reported, Will is preparing for a music comeback and a return to his roots as The Fresh Prince with his good friend and old collaborator Jazzy Jeff.
In an interview with U.K.’s Fiesta, he revealed plans about his comeback and what was in store for 2016. It sounds like Smith is putting out a new album with Jazzy Jeff and a whole new tour.
“We’ve recorded about 25 songs and have four or five I actually like. Jeff and I will be back here [in the U.K.] this summer to do shows, real shows.”
Prior to this revelation, Smith told Beats 1 that he was working on new music, and was excited but terrified. It isn’t a huge stretch that Smith would feel less confident about this avenue of his career. He hasn’t had a huge hit in music since the 1999 song “Wild Wild West.” And that was during his solo career as a rap star. That said, as far as the Jay Zs and the Kanye Wests, it seems like Smith was never put in the same category as them, even though he paved the way with his rhyming.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 2, 2016
This is the first collaboration that Smith will do with Jeff since their last album, Code Red, which was back in 1993. If that seems like just yesterday, it was actually 23 years ago, so it’s been a while since The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff have hit the charts.
Check out Will Smith telling the story of how he found out about the Oscar controversy below:
In response to the controversy, the Academy’s president has outlined a new plan that will promote diversity, which includes current members nominating potential voters, and every ten years a membership goes under review and could be revoked if said voter hasn’t contributed to the film industry within that time period.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]