Will Smith Joins Wife Jada Pinkett in Oscar Boycott; Actor Talks Importance of Diversity
Actor Will Smith plans to join wife Jada Pinkett Smith in boycotting the 2016 Oscars next month. On Thursday (Jan. 21), Will spoke candidly during an interview with ABC's Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts about his feelings towards the predominantly white nominees and explains how he plans to be a part of the solution toward diversifying Hollywood.
After Jada and director Spike Lee both announced they would not be attending the 88th annual Academy Awards due to lack of diversity, many fans and media outlets were eager to hear how Will would respond.
The 47-year-old Concussion star revealed he thoroughly discussed the topic with his wife, ultimately admitting that if he took part in the Oscars it would give people the impression that he was okay with everything that is going on.
"My wife's not going. It would be awkward to show up with Charlize Theron," Will joked with Roberts about hitting the Oscar red carpet with a different woman on his arm.
Will, who was out of the country when his wife made her public Facebook announcement, was blown away when he heard Jada's words. He knows how passionate Jada gets about certain things that happen in our community and later admitted he felt proud to be married to her after listening to the whole video. The fight to explore diversity in Hollywood goes much further than the Oscars, according to Will.
America is a melting pot of races, cultures, religions, and customs and Will believes the industry should reflect that. He also stated there's separatism and bias in Hollywood that needs to be addressed. Will wants people of all backgrounds to look at both the small and big screen and be able to see themselves.
Will hopes to one day leave the industry in better form than it was when he first entered it. He views his relationship with the industry as a multi-interracial marriage, admitting divorce is not an option. According to former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star, if everyone is willing to work together, diversity could easily be achieved.
"For me, at its best, Hollywood represents and then creates the imagery for that beauty," Will said. "But for my part, I think that I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and make our Hollywood community great. So when I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it's not reflecting that beauty."