Will Smith, in interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, confirmed that he would be joining his wife Jada Pinkett in sitting out the Oscars next month.
Smith, 47 in the exclusive interview shared his thoughts on this year’s overwhelmingly white Academy Award nominations, and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s videotaped call to action
“I think that diversity is the American superpower. That’s why we’re great.”
He said further: “So many different people from so many different places adding their ideas, their inspirations, their influences to this beautiful American gumbo. … so when I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it is not reflecting that beauty.”
A lot of people had expected the I, Robot star who is a two-time Oscar nominee, to be shortlisted again for his doctor role in the new movie Concussion. Smith however insists his own part of the debate had nothing to do with not being nominated
“This is so deeply not about me. This is about children who are going to sit down to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented.”
This year’s awards which will be held in Los Angeles on 28 February, looks to be overshadowed by issues surrounding diversity as other Hollywood heavyweights like Spike Lee, Michael Moore and George Clooney have publicly criticized the Academy for failing to nominate people of colour in any of the major acting categories this year.
Chris Rock who is set to host the event has been faced with calls to withdraw his role from the competition
Rapper 50 Cent wrote on instagram “Please do not do the Oscars awards, you mean a lot man, don’t do it. Please.”
“There is no way for him to seize the moment… and say, ‘I’m going to say this and say that I’m going to address the issue but then I’m still going to keep my gig as the host’,” Tyrese Gibson told USA Today
“The statement that you make is that you step down.”